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Five per cent rise in POL prices likely

naveed qamar Pakistan newsISLAMABAD: With people already reeling under 16 per cent inflation, the prices of petroleum products are likely to be increased by more than five per cent (Rs3.5 to Rs4 per litre) on October 31 owing to a rising trend in the international market.

The surge in oil prices coupled with an anticipated large increase in natural gas prices is likely to push the rate of inflation higher than the budget estimate of 9.5 per cent.

The inflation estimates have since been revised up to 14.5 per cent for the current year because of disruptions in the supply of food items, although consumer price indicator recorded an increase of 15.71 per cent in September.

Sources told Dawn on Monday that the prices of almost all petroleum products had substantially increased in the international market which would be passed on to consumers later this week.

The benchmark crude prices in the Arabian Gulf market have risen to $75 per barrel from about $72 per barrel a couple of months ago.

The sources said the prices of petrol and kerosene would go up by about Rs3.5 per litre and that of diesel by Rs4 per litre.

As a result, the price of petrol would rise to Rs70 per litre from Rs67 and of diesel to about Rs77.5 per litre from Rs73.80.

Officials said that the increase would take place after a gap of about six months.

As a result of the increase, the government’s revenue on oil products could go up because of flexible general sales tax.

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