Cracks appear in PDM on Petro prices

-Zardari expresses concern over govt’s decision to raise Petrol prices
-Finance Minister bids to defend decision after Nawaz ‘strongly opposes’ latest hike

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: Former president and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday expressed “concern” over the federal government’s decision to increase the price of petroleum products by Rs6.72 for the next fortnight, saying that “consultation on such decisions” was important.
“Pakistan People’s Party is a part of the government and supports it, but there must be consultation when it comes to such decisions,” a statement issued by the party on Twitter quoted him as saying.
Zardari said that PPP and other coalition parties had joined the government to give relief to the people, calling it “our top priority”.
“We are with the prime minister. I will meet him soon and talk to him about the [government’s] economic team,” the PPP chairman added.
Prior to the former president’s statement, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, too, opposed the petrol price hike on social media.
She said that party supremo Nawaz Sharif had strongly opposed the decision to raise the price of petrol. “He even said that he couldn’t burden the people further and that he was not in favour of the decision,” she tweeted, adding that Nawaz also left the meeting.
Meanwhile, in his defense, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, in a series of tweets earlier in the day, said that the government had not imposed new taxes on petroleum products and the changes had been accorded to purchasing by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO).
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) takes the average Platt prices, adds freight and the premium paid by PSO on top of these prices, and multiplies that by the exchange rate, he said.
On Monday, the government raised the price of petrol and reduced those of high-speed diesel (HSD) and kerosene for the next fortnight.
According to an annou¬ncement by the ministry of finance, the rate of petrol and light diesel oil (LDO) was increased by Rs6.72 and 43 paisa per litre, respectively. On the other hand, the prices of high-speed diesel (HSD) and kerosene were cut by 51 paisa and Rs1.67 per litre respectively.
“In the wake of fluctuations in petroleum prices in the international market and exchange rate variation, the government has decided to

revise the existing prices of petroleum products to pass on the impact to consumers”, said the ministry of finance.
As such, the ex-depot price of petrol was raised to Rs233.91 from Rs227.19, showing an increase of Rs6.72 per litre, or 3pc.
The price of light diesel oil inched up by an inconsequential 43 paisa per litre to Rs191.75 per litre from Rs191.32 at present.
On the other hand, the ex-depot price of HSD was set at Rs244.44 per litre, down from Rs244.95 per litre at present, with a notional cut of 51 paisa, or 0.2pc. Likewise, the ex-depot rate of kerosene was cut to Rs199.40 per litre from Rs201.07 per litre, down by Rs1.67 per litre, or 0.8pc.