By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD, Nov 15: The government on Friday announced 1.5 per cent to 8.6 per cent reduction in various petroleum products prices, and directed the provincial governments and law enforcing agencies to immediately stop smuggling of these products from Iran .
Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin told a news conference on Friday that it was a major reduction after the government had put in place a petroleum pricing mechanism in July last year because of Iraq-oriented international political situation.
The prices of motor spirit have been cut by 8.6 per cent, high octane blending component by 7.7 per cent, kerosene oil by 1.5 per cent, high speed diesel by 2.7 per cent, light diesel oil by 6.9 per cent, JP-1 by 8 per cent and JP-4 by 6.2 per cent, he said.
Effective from Nov 16, the price of motor spirit would come down from Rs35.21 to Rs32.18 per litre, a reduction of Rs3.09. The HOBC is to be sold at Rs36.65 per litre, down Rs3.05 from its current rate of Rs39.70 per litre. Kerosene price has been fixed at Rs18.95 per litre, lower by 28 paisa from the prevalent rate of Rs19.23 per litre.
Similarly, high speed diesel and light diesel oil prices have dropped by Rs0.60 per litre and Rs1.29 per litre, respectively, from Rs21.98 to Rs21.38 per litre and from Rs17.88 to Rs16.64 per litre.
The JP-1 price has been cut from Rs13.94 to 12.83 per litre, a difference of Rs1.11 per litre. The JP-4 rate has also been reduced from Rs17.07 to Rs16.02 per litre, a drop of Rs1.05 per litre.
The minister said the petroleum prices had been revised 34 times since July last year and the government recovered Rs66 billion last year as petroleum revenue. He insisted that petroleum revenue was budgeted at Rs45 billion this year and it would remain pegged at this level without any change.
The minister said that a high-level meeting on Friday took stock of the smuggling of petroleum products taking place in the country, causing at least a Rs5 billion revenue loss to the national exchequer.
The meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and attended by ministers for interior, petroleum and commerce and provincial chief secretaries, decided to utilise all avenues to stop smuggling of motor spirit and lubricants from Iran