The government is likely to accord approval to a new pricing mechanism, along with a reduction in current rates, on August 15, as it has decided to hold further consultations on the weekly changes in the prices of petroleum products.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had sought a report from the Ministry of Petroleum as well as the Ministry of Finance in this regard. However, it has currently decided to continue consultations on the matter.
Discussions will be held with all stakeholders, including petroleum companies, and a decision is expected by August 15.
The reason for fixing the prices on a weekly basis is to limit the loss or profit of the oil importing and selling companies due to price fluctuations. Moreover, the government believes that the public too would be able to benefit from price fluctuations in the international market.
Also read: Govt agrees to deregulate oil prices
Moreover, the government is also seriously considering deregulation of all petroleum products. This means that its intervention in price determination will end, and the oil companies will set the prices at market rate.
It believes that the state-owned PSO will prevent the establishment of any mafia or cartels in the petroleum sector and will intervene if any such move is made. This, the Centre believes, will bring the real prices of petroleum products to the public.
The authorities will continue to deliberate on the proposal during the Ashura holidays, after which a final decision will be taken.
The government has already deregulated high-octane, which led to an initial surge, but the prices eventually came down.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk