ISLAMABAD - The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Friday recommended the government to increase the prices of petrol and kerosene oil by 3.29 percent (Rs2.12) and 9.1 percent (Rs3.94) respectively, it was learnt reliably here.

However, the authority recommended a decrease of 2.86 percent (Rs1.24) in the price of light diesel oil and 0.83 percent (Re0.60) in the rate of high octane blended oil (HOBC). The Ogra has sent summary to the petroleum and finance ministries, suggesting increase in the prices of petrol and kerosene oil for the month of August. OGRA has recommended an increase of Re0.26 (0.35 percent) in the price of high-speed diesel (HSD).

Ogra has worked out the proposed increase and reduction in petroleum prices on the basis of imported oil prices that was provided to the authority by the oil marketing companies. The petroleum ministry will send it to the finance ministry which will then take approval from the prime minister on it. If the prices recommended by Ogra are approved then petrol price will reach from Rs64.27 to Rs66.39 per litre, HSD from Rs72.52 per litre to Rs72.78 and kerosene oil from Rs43.25 per litre to Rs 47.19. However, the sources said that the government is unlikely to change the prices of petrol and diesel.

POL price recommendations by Ogra for May and June were also rejected by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, probably in an effort to appease public as his government has been facing tremendous pressure because of Pamana leaks. To the keep the prices unchanged, the government had to cut General Sales Tax (GST) on different POL products for May and June.

For July also, the federal government rejected the OGRA advice for the hike in petrol, HSD, HBOC and kerosene prices and had decided to keep the prices of petroleum products unchanged for the month. However the price of light diesel was increased by Rs5.38/litre.

To offset the effect of increase in crude oil price in the international market, the government reduced GST on petrol from Rs14.48 to Rs12.89 per litre for May, on HOBC from Rs18.57 to Rs13.90, on LDO from Rs9.63 to Rs4.72 and on kerosene oil from Rs10.40 to Rs4.76, but no change was made in the GST on HSD which remained at Rs29.57 per litre.

Similarly, the GST for June was further slashed. On petrol, it was reduced from Rs12.89 to Rs9.36 per litre, on HOBC from Rs13.90 to Rs10.58, on LDO from Rs4.72 to Rs1.86 and on HSD from Rs29.57 to Rs18.47, while GST on kerosene was increased from Rs4.76 to Rs5.58 per litre. In July, the government charged 17 GST on petrol and HOBC.

Meanwhile, the two main state-run gas utility companies have also demanded the government to increase gas prices for all categories of consumers including domestic, commercial and industrial from July this year. SSGC and SNGPL have asked the government to increase gas prices by Rs18 per a million cubic British thermal unit (MMBTU). Both the companies have formally submitted their demand to the OGRA, a senior official of the SNGPL has confirmed.