The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has cautioned against engaging in speculative discussions regarding the future pricing of petroleum products. This advisory comes in response to recent statements made by federal ministers suggesting potential reductions in Petroleum Oil and Lubricants (POL) rates during the upcoming fortnightly review.
Caretaker Federal Commerce and Industries Minister Gohar Ejaz and Interim Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi had asserted last week that POL prices might see a decrease, attributing this possibility to the strengthening of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar.
Over the past two weeks, the rupee has appreciated by approximately Rs16 against the dollar, prompting these statements. It’s important to note that Pakistan, as a petroleum importer, conducts its transactions in US dollars.
In the preceding fortnightly review, the caretaker government had substantially raised the prices of petrol and diesel, setting historic highs at Rs331.38 and Rs329.18 per litre, respectively.
In light of the ministers’ remarks, OGRA has released a statement reiterating the importance of refraining from speculative discourse concerning petroleum product prices. The regulatory authority clarified that these prices in Pakistan are primarily influenced by international market rates and the prevailing dollar-to-ruble exchange rate.
OGRA pointed out that recent times have witnessed an upsurge in global petroleum prices, while the rupee has demonstrated an improvement against the dollar. However, OGRA emphasised that there is still one week remaining before the announcement of the new pricing structure.
The statement from OGRA further underscores that any conjecture regarding price fluctuations during this interim period is highly speculative and could potentially disrupt the efficient functioning of the petroleum supply chain.