ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): The government’s decision to keep the oil prices unchanged for the current month, despite surge in the international market and financial constraints, appeared to be a real respite for the general public.
The government will absorb the financial impact of around Rs 2 billion to maintain the prices after the Prime Minister had rejected the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s summary to increase the prices.
People from different walks of life have appreciated this step of the government, pinning high hopes with it that there would be an effective mechanism of check and balance to ensure provision of edible items at controlled rates.
Abdul Waheed, a senior citizen residing in Model Town (Humak) a rural area of the federal capital, told APP that now it was the responsibility of the respective district administrations to ensure the trickle down effect of the maintained POL prices to the common man.
He said the government’s decision would be more effective, if there was a proper check on the elements fleecing the general public by creating artificial price hike, hoarding and black-marketing of the daily use items.
Zaheer Khan, a government servant, termed the decision of not increasing the oil prices a ‘good relief’ for the common man as it would ensure availability of edibles at the prescribed rates.
Official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told APP that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has slashed prices of different petroleum products upto 59 per cent during last 20 months.
Giving comparison, they said, in March 2013 petrol was being sold at Rs 106.60 per litre, HSD Rs 113.56 per litre, Kerosene Oil Rs 103.69 per litre, LSD Rs 98.26.27 per litre and HOBC Rs 140.06 per litre. While in July 2016, Petrol is being sold at Rs 64.27 per litre, HSD Rs 72.52 per litre, Kerosene Oil Rs 43.25, LSD Rs 43.35 per litre and HOBC Rs 72.68 per litre.
Although, the sources said, prices of petroleum products had been fluctuating during last 36 months, but the elected government passed on maximum benefits of reduction in prices of POL products in international market to the common man.
They claimed that Pakistan was at the top in reducing petroleum products prices among oil importing countries including India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
They said the diesel price was reduced by 30 percent in the recent past in Pakistan, whereas India just cut it by only three paisas per litre.