ISLAMABAD - Though the government has been contemplating cancellation of the weekly price review mechanism approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), an ‘acute shortage’ of petrol is likely to hit the country from today.The filling station owners have halted purchase due to possible Rs6/litre cut in petroleum products price. Sources in oil marketing companies (OMCs) informed TheNation that the open market would fall short of “cheaper” petroleum products because 80 per cent oil dealers had not placed their orders of diesel and petrol for next week.The OMCs have asked the filling station owners to place their orders but they say they will bear a loss of millions of rupees if they do so. The ‘shortage’ would be overcome in a couple of days after the reviewed prices would come into effect from October 1, sources maintained.According to sources in the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry, the petroleum secretary chaired a meeting of the OMCs representative and decided to cancel the ECC decision of determining prices of petroleum products on a weekly basis. However, they added that if the government goes for weekly price review mechanism, there should be a change on the selection of the day of announcement for new prices of petroleum products.The meeting also decided to fix Wednesday instead of Sunday for the announcement of the weekly price determination, but the final decision would be taken after approval of Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain who was abroad.The sources said the OMCs also expressed concerns over weekly review, saying that this periodical review had been adding to their woes because they found it difficult to maintain mandatory stocks.They companies declared that they could not stop the dealers from hoarding. The Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) has also been expressing its reservation over the weekly price determination.On August 7, the ECC approved the Petroleum Ministry’s summary on the weekly price determination despite strong opposition by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). The approval was also against the recommendations of National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, a watchdog on the affairs of petroleum and natural resources.The committee called for determining fuel prices on a four or six months basis. The NA body urged the ministry to devise a mechanism to control the self-created shortage of oil before the change in the prices of petroleum products. On April 6, the ECC approved much “controversial and impractical” fortnightly oil pricing despite strong opposition by Ogra.People have been making a litany of complaints to authorities concerned but to no avail. The consumers believed that they would have to suffer as retailers would go for hoarding.“Fuel prices go up by 75 per cent while the same decline by 25 per cent in a month under the government policy,” they said, adding that such hikes had been adding to public woes. They raised the demand for determining proper mechanism over the issue of price hike so that public could get relief. Transports also used to toe the government policy as they raise fare after an increase in fuel prices.According to sources, the government is likely to decrease fuel prices by October 1. The price of kerosene oil may be reduced by Rs1.60 per litre, high octane blended component (HOBC) Rs0.60, high speed diesel (HSD) Rs0.55, and light diesel oil (LDO) Rs0.40 per litre, sources said, adding that CNG price is also expected to be cut by Rs5.70 per kilogramme.