- Next petrol price review due on Feb 15.
- PDL may also be increased on diesel.
- Sharp increase in POL prices is expected.
KARACHI: The prices of petrol may witness a surge of Rs20 per litre in the next two weeks’ review — which is to be held on February 15, 2023, The News reported on Tuesday.
This recent uptick in petrol price was based on the calculations of the international price of petrol i.e. free on board (FOB) basis, oil industry sources told the publication.
The government had carried out a massive increase of Rs35 per litre in the last fortnightly review of fuel prices. Currently, the government is charging Rs50 per litre petroleum levy (PL) whereas general sales tax (GST) has not been imposed yet.
The price of petrol may further increase provided the foreign exchange rate was adjusted in the next review, the sources mentioned.
They further said that the exchange rate was on the higher side, which would deprive the local consumers of any benefit or reduction in the prices of petroleum products.
The prices of petrol in the international market have decreased, but the steep depreciation of the rupee against the dollar has eroded the gains to detriment of domestic consumers.
The sources also added that the petrol price might go up even further if the government adjusted Rs20 per litre on account of the exchange rate as well, which would cumulatively take the price by up to Rs40 per litre.
On the other hand, diesel price was not reflecting any increase on FOB sans exchange rate adjustment. The sources said that if the exchange rate was adjusted, diesel prices could go up in the next review.
The government had adjusted Rs14 per litre on diesel on account of the exchange rate; however, the steep appreciation of the dollar has eaten up the exchange rate adjustment of the last review.
They noted that diesel prices went down by five to six dollars per barrel in the global market, but rupee depreciation would not allow the government to pass on this reduction in global prices to local consumers.
The last increase in prices of petroleum products was made in the review on January 29, 2021, by the federal government. After the review, petrol price was tagged at Rs249.80 per litre; high-speed diesel Rs262.80 per litre; kerosene oil Rs189.83 per litre; and light-speed diesel Rs187 per litre.
On January 29, 2023, the government increased the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel by Rs35 per litre each and the rates of kerosene oil and light diesel oil were increased by Rs18 per litre each.
Pakistan is currently facing a short supply of petrol, with its most populous province, Punjab bearing the brunt of the crisis. Major and smaller cities, towns and villages in Punjab do not have the fuel, which was also being blamed on petroleum dealers.
Last week, sources had said that other than the low import of petrol by a majority of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), petroleum dealers were having a field day and were involved in the hoarding of petrol in view of the expected increase in prices by mid-February.
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Pakistan’s steel prices are rising; get the latest figures here
Another increase in steel prices has resulted in higher construction expenses in Pakistan. The economic downturn and continuous shipping delays have resulted in sharp price increases for building supplies, which has an effect on those who are planning to construct homes.
Due to increased manufacturing costs and supply chain interruptions brought on by the Middle East crisis, the price of iron, commonly known as steel rebar, has increased by Rs5,000 per ton. Local and imported steel rebar now costs between Rs240,000 and Rs260,000 per ton as a result of this most recent rise.
The cost of branded iron went from Rs255,000 to Rs260,000 per ton, while the cost of local iron climbed from Rs236,000 to Rs240,000. Furthermore, the cost of scrap or unprocessed iron has increased to Rs160,000 per ton inin the iron and steel markets.
The impact of the skyrocketing steel prices will be exacerbated by any more interruptions in the raw material supply chain. The cost of cement, on the other hand, has somewhat decreased and is at Rs 1,246 per bag.
Up 30% to Rs 5.1 trillion by mid-February, FBR collected
The total increase in domestic taxes has been around 40%, whilst import duties and associated levies increased by 16% between July 2023 and January 2024.
With the recovery of the GDP and increased inspection of FBR collection, the growth in revenues accelerated.
Up to mid-February, FBR receipts increased by 30% to Rs. 5.1 trillion. Nevertheless, decreases in import tariffs over time and, more recently, import license limits implemented by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to manage the country’s balance of payments in the aftermath of foreign exchange shortages, were mostly responsible for the decline in the rise of import taxes.
However, the impact of improvements in import valuation, which resulted in collections of Rs 151 billion, as well as the anti-smuggling campaign, which saw a surge of about 69% in the current fiscal year over the previous one, are also included in the income collected from imports.
The statement said that there was room to improve anti-smuggling operations by considering expanding Baluchistan’s customs force, which now only has 378 anti-smuggling employees out of 20,000 total.
The mobilization of domestic tax income, which accounted for more than 64% of all revenues received in the current fiscal year, was hailed in the statement as a welcome change.
In parallel, the percentage of import duties has decreased to 36% from over 50% just three years prior. The main drivers of this increase in revenue were the several taxes sources. From Rs. 1,751 billion to Rs. 2,447 billion, income tax receipts increased significantly—by 40%.
Banks, the petroleum and oil lubricants (POL) business, the textile industry, the electricity sector, the food industry, and a number of service industries were among the major income tax payers. Up to mid-February, FBR receipts increased by 30% to Rs. 5.1 trillion. Notable rise was also seen in sales tax receipts, which increased by 19% from Rs. 1,480 billion to Rs. 1,766 billion.
POL, the electricity sector, the food sector, the automobile sector, the iron and steel sector, and the chemical sector were important growth drivers.
The amount collected in federal excise taxes increased significantly by 61%, from Rs. 190 billion to Rs. 307 billion.
Taxes on tobacco goods, the cement industry, drinks, airlines, fertilizers, and the automobile sector were the main causes of this increase. The amount collected in customs duties increased by 14%, from Rs. 552 billion to Rs. 629 billion.
The POL, automobile, iron and steel, electronics, and food industries were among the main donors to customs duties.
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