Govt holds back fuel and power tariff hike | Pakistan Today

Govt holds back fuel and power tariff hike

ISLAMABAD: The government has put on hold the increase due in power tariff and petroleum prices as it has received intelligence reports suggesting that the increase might spark countrywide protests.
A source told Pakistan Today that the intelligence agencies had told the government that further increase in power and petroleum prices would lead to protests, which could worsen the law and order situation across the country.
“The increase in tariff has been put on hold for the time being,” the source said.
However, if the government takes the bold step under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the power tariff will be increased by up to four percent. The government has not increased the power tariff by the scheduled two percent this month, and if it decides to do so, it will have to announce a four percent hike – two percent each for December and January.
Similarly, if the government decides to let the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) pass on the increase in petroleum prices in the international markets to consumers, the prices will likely be jacked up by Rs 2 to Rs 4 per litre.
According to OGRA, the average monthly prices of petroleum products in the Arab Gulf market increased by 3.6 percent to 4.6 percent in November.
The estimated increase for petrol was Rs 1.73 per litre, HOBC Rs 2.17 per litre, kerosene oil Rs 1.58 per litre, high speed diesel Rs 2.14 per litre and light diesel oil Rs 2 per litre.
Under the agreement with IMF, the increase in petroleum prices and power tariff was to be automatically passed on to consumers. The gradual increase was decided in order to limit public outcry, but sources said that the government was now considering implementing the automatic adjustment mechanism agreed with the IMF after the passage of the GST bill from parliament and provincial assemblies.

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