PTI government pocketing Rs40, Rs38 per litre on diesel, petrol

ISLAMABAD: Amid yawning tax shortfall and for achieving envisaged primary deficit target under the IMF condition, the government is pocketing Rs40 and Rs38 per litre on diesel and petrol respectively as petroleum levy and GST.

In order to keep prices of petroleum products unchanged with effect from October 1, 2019, the government jacked up petroleum levy (PL) on both High Speed Diesel (HSD) and MS (petrol). The Petroleum Levy on Light Diesel Oil also increased with effect from October 1, 2019. However, the PL on kerosene has been decreased slightly for the current month.

According to official data available with The News disclosing on Wednesday that the Petroleum Levy on HSD increased from Rs18 per litre to Rs20.76 per litre. Then 17 percent GST is also charged. So, in totality, the PL and GST charged from consumers stands in the range of Rs40 per litre. The price of HSD stands at Rs127.14 per litre in the domestic market.

On MS (petrol), the PL was increased by Rs2.17 per litre as it increased from Rs15 to Rs17.18 per litre with effect from October 1, 2019. The FBR also charged 17 percent GST from consumers. The price of petrol stands at Rs113.24 per liter in the domestic market for the ongoing month.

At a time when the FBR has been facing revenue shortfall in the range of Rs100 to 104 billion in first three months (July-Sept) period of the current fiscal year, the government took decision not to pass on relief to consumers as recommended by the regulator Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) with effect from October 1, 2019 so the prices of POL products kept unchanged for the ongoing month. This policy for not passing on benefits to the consumers will weaken the stance of the government that the POL prices are linked with international market. When POL prices in international market went up, the government opted hiking of prices but when the prices decreased in international market, it found different excuses not to pass on relief to the consumers. The concept of market economy has weakened with this policy choice, said the sources.

“The government has taken this decision for restricting the primary deficit in line with the IMF agreement as the Fund has given primary deficit target of Rs102 billion for end September 2019,” top official of Finance Division said and added that the government preferred to utilise this avenue to bridge the revenue shortfall faced on the FBR front. – The News

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