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Miftah on back foot after another increase in petrol prices

Federal government increases price of petrol by Rs6.72 per liter

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that he was ‘an easy target’ following the government’s decision to increase the price of petrol for the coming two weeks.

In response to a tweet by journalist Hamid Mir regarding the petrol prices, Miftah claimed that the adjustment did not contain any additional taxes.

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Miftah tweeted, “The increase or decrease in petrol prices is according to the purchasing by Pakistan State Oil (PSO).”

His response came after a local media group published a news story about the claim of the finance minister on the price of petrol turned out to be wrong.

When Mir asked Miftah why local prices were increasing when global prices had gone down, he provided an explanation for how petrol and diesel prices are decided.

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He said, “The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) takes the average Platt prices [price benchmark for oil industry], adds freight and the premium paid by PSO on top of these prices, and multiplies that by the exchange rate.”

“In addition, it also ‘trues up’ the previous fortnight’s cost by taking into account the rupees paid by PSO at the actual exchange rate, as opposed to the average used to estimate the previous fortnight’s cost,” he added.

Miftah further explained, “We have not added any new tax or levy to the price. The price of petrol has gone up and diesel has gone down) because the cost paid by PSO in the previous fortnight was more than the cost estimated by OGRA and also because the premium paid by PSO on petrol increased and the premium paid on diesel remained unchanged.”

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz claimed on Twitter that party leader Nawaz Sharif had strongly opposed the decision to hike the price of petrol.

She claimed that Nawaz Sharif even said he couldn’t burden the people and that he was not in favor of this decision.



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