Petrol and diesel prices will remain the same for the next two weeks

The interim government has opted to maintain the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) unchanged for the initial two weeks of the new year.

As per an official statement from the finance ministry, the per-liter cost of petrol will remain steady at Rs267.34, and HSD will retain its price at Rs276.21 until mid-January.

The ministry conveyed that the decision to keep prices unaltered was made based on the recommendation of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

The most recent assessment reveals that petrol and diesel prices experienced an approximate increase of Rs50 per liter throughout the year. On January 1, 2023, they stood at Rs214.8 and Rs227.8 per liter, respectively. Ogra’s calculations primarily considered a marginal rise in Brent crude prices and a slight decline in Arab Gulf basket rates, influenced by potential shipping threats due to the Israeli conflict in Gaza.

An official from an oil marketing company (OMC) noted that certain tanker operators had ceased sending vessels through the Red Sea to mitigate the risk of drone and missile attacks in the region by Houthi rebels of Yemen.

While the finance ministry has not disclosed the rates for kerosene and light diesel oil, OMC sources indicated a reduction of Rs2.19 per liter in the price of kerosene to Rs188.83, while the cost of LDO has increased by Rs1.19 to Rs165.83 per liter.

In addition to global oil prices, the exchange rate has demonstrated stability, starting the preceding fortnight at 283.26 per dollar and concluding at 281.86 in the interbank market on the last trading day of the year.

Crucial factors influencing fuel prices include the petroleum development levy and general sales tax. Presently, the government imposes a Rs60 levy on each liter of petrol and high-speed diesel, while the GST remains at zero.

Meanwhile, an official from the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) pointed out that January witnesses lower fuel consumption in the country, with road transport affected by reduced visibility due to fog and smog from Lahore to Sukkur areas.

Nevertheless, the demand for kerosene rises during winter for heating and cooking in remote regions where LPG cylinders are not readily available.

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