Pakistanis weary of rising inflation may soon experience yet another surge in petroleum prices, with reports suggesting an increase of up to Rs15 per litre for the latter half of September 2023. This comes as global commodity prices continue their upward trajectory.
According to well-informed sources cited in the media, the interim government is considering announcing this price hike due to the persistent rise in global oil prices. Currently, global oil prices are reaching a 10-month high, primarily driven by supply constraints, aside from the devaluation of the local currency.
International benchmark Brent futures are hovering at approximately $92.14 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude has seen slight gains, reaching $88.98 per barrel. This surge in oil prices brings them back to levels last witnessed in November 2022.
As of now, the government has not provided any official updates regarding the expected price revision, with the final decision expected to be reached in recent meetings.
At present, the price of petrol stands at Rs305.36 per litre, and high-speed diesel is priced at Rs311.84 after the last revision. Notably, the federal government has been consistently increasing fuel prices every 15 days.
If the proposed hike is approved by the government, the new petrol price will surpass the Rs320 per litre mark. This pattern of fuel price increases every 15 days has become a recent trend for the federal government.
Additionally, the government is imposing a record petroleum levy on both petrol and high-speed diesel, further exacerbating the situation.
Unfortunately, this potential fuel price hike is expected to contribute to soaring inflation in a country already grappling with a severe crisis, where citizens are struggling to afford basic necessities like food and other essential commodities.