Another jump sees petrol near Rs250.

ISLAMABAD -- As committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government on Thursday revived the petroleum levy and increased prices of all petroleum products by about Rs14-19 per litre with immediate effect.

According to a notification issued by the finance ministry, the government imposed a Rs10 per litre petroleum levy on petrol and Rs5 each on high-speed diesel (HSD), kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO).

As a result, the per-litre price of petrol has been increased by Rs14.85, HSD by Rs13.23, kerosene by Rs18.83 and LDO by Rs18.68.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad soon after the price hike notification was issued, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the petroleum levy had been imposed to revive the IMF programme suspended four months ago after the PTI government reneged from signed agreements.

Because of the subsequent fuel price hikes and the revival of the petroleum levy, 'substantial progress' has been achieved with the IMF and it had agreed to increase the programme size to $7bn from $6bn, he said.

The minister said that under the PTI's agreement with the international lender, the prices of petrol and diesel should have been Rs70 per litre higher as it had committed to not only increasing the levy to Rs30 per litre but also imposing a 17pc GST.

Mr Ismail said the PTI caused a Rs233bn loss of revenue on account of the petroleum division alone and, combined with other things, led to about Rs5 trillion fiscal deficit - the highest ever in Pakistan's history.

He said global crude oil prices were $85-90 a barrel when the previous government decided to renege on a just-concluded agreement with the IMF by removing taxes and reducing prices. These prices are now hovering around $114 a barrel.

Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, who accompanied the finance minister on the occasion, also hinted at an about 45pc increase in gas prices soon.

He said new legal documents were coming up every day before the government showing how the PTI had changed laws under which the prices determined by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) would stand automatically notified within 40 days even if the government do not clear it.

Ogra had determined 45-46pc increase in natural gas prices on June 3. As such, these prices have to go up by July 13.

The petroleum levy was reduced to zero in the March 1 price revision when international prices went up and the then PTI government decided to not only reduce petroleum prices by Rs10...

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