Budget FY 2018-19: Govt recommends 200% increase in petroleum levy

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): The government has recommended an increase of nearly 200% in petroleum levy in the new budget, for fiscal year 2018-19.

According to experts, the increase is feared to cause a rapid rise in inflation.

Under the Finance Bill 2018, tax on diesel, petroleum, crude oil and high-octane fuel would be increased from Rs10 per litre to Rs30. The same increase would be imposed on the levy of light speed diesel and gasoline, while levy on local liquefied petroleum gas could go up by 328%.

A day earlier, sources told the media that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has recommended a hike in prices of petroleum products for May. In a summary sent to the Ministry of Petroleum, OGRA recommended Rs3.22 per litre increase in the price of petrol.

Besides, an increase of Rs6.97 per litre was recommended for kerosene oil, while Rs6.95 hike was suggested for diesel price, sources said.

However, the final approval for revision of petroleum prices rests with the prime minister, sources added.

The changes in prices would be implemented in the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19, the budget for which was announced a day earlier.

The sixth budget of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government was presented on April 27 with an outlay of Rs5,932.5 billion. The budget was presented amid a strong protest from the opposition benches against the full-year financial plan despite the incumbent government’s remaining tenure of three months.

The development budget for FY18-19 was set at Rs 1.067 trillion, while Defence Affairs and Services was allotted Rs 1.1 trillion. The Federal Public Sector Development Program and Interest Payment budgets were set at Rs800 billion and Rs1.62 trillion respectively. For pension payments and subsidies, the government set aside Rs 342 billion and Rs174 billion.