On Tuesday, the interim government opted to maintain the current prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) for the upcoming two weeks.
As per a notification from the Ministry of Finance, accessible on Dawn.com, the prices of petrol and HSD will remain steady at Rs283.38 and Rs303.18 per liter, respectively.
In contrast, the prices of kerosene oil and light-diesel oil witnessed a reduction, with decreases of Rs3.82 and Rs3.4 per liter, bringing them to Rs211.03 and Rs189.46 per liter, respectively.
This decision goes against expectations of a price reduction of Rs5-18 per liter for diesel and petrol. Official sources had indicated that the price of HSD was likely to decrease by approximately Rs5-6 per liter, possibly falling below Rs300 per liter, unless the interim government raised the petroleum levy further. Meanwhile, petrol was anticipated to become cheaper by around Rs18 per liter. This was primarily due to the Pakistani rupee’s recent gain of about Rs3 against the US dollar over the past two weeks, alongside a decrease of about $1.3 per barrel in the average price of diesel and an increase of about $3.5 per barrel in the average price of petrol.
On October 16, the caretaker government had reduced the price of petrol by Rs40 per liter and HSD by Rs15 per liter. This marked the third consecutive price reduction. The growing stability of the rupee against the US dollar was cited as the primary reason behind these reductions.
HSD, being the primary fuel for the transport sector, has significant inflationary implications as it is predominantly used in heavy transport vehicles, trains, and agricultural machinery, including trucks, buses, tractors, tube wells, and threshers. Its price directly impacts the cost of vegetables and other food items.