Substantive cut in POL prices on the cards

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By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Wednesday put forth a proposal to reduce prices of petroleum products up to Rs44 per litre for the month of May-2020 in the country. According to the details, OGRA has recommended Rs20.68 per litre cut in the price of petrol, diesel Rs33.94 per litre, light diesel Rs24.57 per litre and kerosene oil by Rs44.07 per litre.
The summary for the revision of petroleum price for the month of May has been sent to the Ministry of Petroleum and after the prime minister’s approval, the new price will be announced for the public. If approved, the new prices will come into effect from May 1.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday recommended up to Rs44.07 per litre reduction in the price of major petroleum products for the month of May to share the benefit of lower international prices with the consumers.
In a summary sent to the Petroleum Division, seen by Dawn.com, the authority has proposed a decrease of Rs33.94 to Rs73.31 for the price of high-speed diesel (HSD), a drop of 31.6 per cent from the existing Rs107.25.
It has worked out a decrease of Rs20.68 per litre (down 21.4pc) to Rs75.9 for petrol, which currently stands at Rs96.58.
Meanwhile, Ogra has proposed that kerosene oil’s price be cut by Rs44.07 to Rs33.38 per litre, a 56.9pc decline from the Rs77.45 per litre rate that went into effect in late March. For light diesel oil (LDO), the price has been recommended to be slashed by Rs24.57 (-39.3pc) to Rs37.94 per litre. It costs Rs62.51 at present.
If the summary is approved by the prime minister, the finance ministry will make an announcement about the reduction in petroleum products’ prices on Thursday.
The proposed reduction in fuel prices comes as oil prices slumped again on Tuesday amid concern about dwindling crude storage capacity worldwide and fears that fuel demand may only recover slowly once countries ease curbs imposed on economic and social activity to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil prices have fallen to historic lows this month, with the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crashing deep below zero for the first time as governments worldwide shut down businesses and air travel grinds to a halt due to the virus.
An agreement by top crude-producing nations to cut output by 10 million barrels a day from May 1 has done little to calm the market.
The production cuts “will probably take weeks to show up in the physical market, hence we are still stuck with the inventories issues that will continue to curb any semblance of bullish appetite”, said AxiCorp global market strategist Stephen Innes.