Islamabad: The price of diesel is set to cross Rs 200 per litre for the first time in Pakistan’s history on the back of soaring crude oil prices in the global market and sharp depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar, Express Tribune reported.
In the second fortnight of current month starting April 16, the newly formed Pakistan government would be required to either jack up the price of diesel by Rs 60.54 per litre or enhance subsidy to maintain the existing price, officials said.
If the leadership chooses to increase the price, the per-litre diesel cost will jump to Rs 204.69.
Earlier, former Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a reduction of Rs 10 per litre in petrol and diesel prices and a price freeze till the announcement of Budget for 2022-23.
Sources pointed out that the new government would be in a critical situation and might choose not to increase prices in a bid to win over public support.
Officials said that the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had maintained petroleum prices since mid-March, which pushed up the subsidy bill for petroleum products by Rs 30 billion for the first fortnight of April.
However, the decision of keeping oil prices unchanged had no legal cover as it had not been officially approved.
If the current government decides to continue the policy, then it will be forced to give another Rs 30 billion in subsidy from April 16 to 30. Overall, it will have to bear a burden of Rs 60 billion for keeping oil prices unchanged.
Officials said that the rupee depreciation against the US dollar had also had an impact, which resulted in an increase in petroleum prices by Rs 5.54 per litre, or 3.03 per cent. The average dollar value jumped from Rs 182.15 to Rs 188.15 in the past, the report said.