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Pakistan de-regulates of oil prices  

PAKISTAN : Oil prices deregulation approved

ISLAMABAD The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved, in principle, de-regulation of oil prices and Inland Freight Equalisation Margin (IFEM). The ECC has also approved to fix margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers which will result in reduction of oil prices by 35 paisa per litre if calculated based on price of October, an official of Petroleum Ministry said.

The ECC has also directed Petroleum Ministry to seek ratification of decision from the Cabinet before its implementation. "IFEM will fall in controlled-deregulation because the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) will notify it from one destination to other destination but so far as prices of petroleum products are concerned, refineries and OMCs will determine the prices on monthly basis whereas Ogra will monitor it," the official said, adding that imported price will be benchmark for prices and refineries as well, as OMCs will not be allowed to charge over set 'bench mark price' to protect consumers interests. He said that in new oil pricing formula, the role of Ogra was more effective.

The official said that in the new approved oil pricing formula, the distortion in prices between locally produced and imported product had been removed by setting 'actual import price' as bench mark for prices of all petroleum products. The government had fixed margins of OMCs and dealers, which will be slashed from existing 1.75 per litre to Rs 1.50 per litre and Rs 2.17 per litre to Rs 1.87 per litre on petrol respectively. The margin of OMCs on HOBC will decline from existing Rs 1.98 per litre to Rs 1.72 per litre and dealers margin from existing Rs 2.48 per litre to Rs 2.15 per litre.

Oil refineries have been urging government to link price of motor gasoline with 'actual import price' to secure them from loss of Rs 3 to Rs 4 per litre. "Now, the distortion impact in price of petrol between locally produced and imported has been removed after fixing 'actual import price' as bench mark for motor gasoline," the official said, adding that due to difference between imported and locally produced motor gasoline, OMCs had submitted claims to release money on account of price differential claims. "After new pricing formula, the government will have to face no burden on account of price differential claims on imported motor gasoline," he added. Courtesy: BUSINESS RECORDER

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