Islamabad: It is that time of the month when the government has to decide the price of petrol for the next fifteen days.
Last time, on November 1, the Ishaq Dar-led finance ministry decided to maintain the prices of petroleum products unchanged.
The current price of petrol is Rs224.80 per liter, Rs235.30 for HSD, Rs186.50 for LDO, and Rs191.83 for kerosene.
However, Pakistanis are unlikely to receive any relief in the form of a reduction in the prices of petroleum products this time too.
Prices of crude oil in the international market leave very little or no space for the government of Pakistan to pass on relief to the masses in the form of price reductions.
It must also be noted that the government is charging an Rs50 petroleum levy on petrol and Rs12 on diesel. Based on the agreement with the IMF, Pakistan must jack up the levy on diesel to collect the additional revenue.
However, jacking up the levy on diesel to Rs50 from the existing Rs12 will increase the price manifold.
It is pertinent to mention that the GST on the sale of petroleum products is currently at zero. Experts believe that the GST could be imposed on petrol as the petroleum levy on it has already touched the highest level.
Therefore, it is likely that the rate of petroleum levy might see some jump along with an adjustment in exchange losses, which might raise the price of diesel as well as the retail price of petrol in the next fortnightly review of fuel prices.