Finance Minister owes a clarification to the nation

IDAccording to media reports the government has decided to leave petrol and high-speed diesel prices unchanged for the month of December despite a recommendation by the regulator for price revision in line with movements in the international market.
The reports also say that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) – the industry regulator – had worked out a reduction of Rs1.05 per litre (1.4%) in the price of petrol and an increase of Rs1.42 per litre (1.7%) in the rate of high-speed diesel (HSD).
Dawn in its editorial has rightly raised the question, why POL prices have not been correspondingly reduced in Pakistan with the fall in global oil prices?
For Pakistan the reference price is Arab light sweet crude that has fallen from just over US$$60 to a barrel beginning June to below US$40 as of end November.
One if forced to draw the conclusion that Ogra has become subservient to Ministry of Finance, which is not allowing reduction in POL prices by increasing tax on these products to overcome the inadequacy of FBR.
Chairman Ogra also owes an apology to the poor people as he in his latest summary proposed reduction in petrol but hike in HSD price. He has kept HSD price high in the past also.
It seems that he lives in utopia and has no comprehension whatsoever of the adverse effects of keeping HSD price high. For his kind information HSD in mainly used in public transport, which directly affects cost of transportation for people as well as goods.
Respected Finance Minister, you can’t contain budget deficit by introducing mini budget. PML-N government must opt for austerity drive and bid farewell to extravaganzas.

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