LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to change POL price fixation formula as fortnightly change is affecting the estimated cost of doing business and hitting the industry.
The demand was raised by the LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah at a meeting with the Member (Oil) Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Zainul Abideen Qureshi at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.
“Why the changes in international prices of oil are not reflected in national POL prices”, the LCCI President questioned and hoped that whenever there is ample dip in the price of oil in international market, OGRA would ensure that some benefit must be passed on to general consumers. He said that the government should support the industry when Oil prices increase in the international market and bear some burden.
He said that the upward trend in price of POL products has direct effect on inflation. Keeping in view the challenging economic conditions, the government should lower the share of petroleum levies to give some relief to general public. This step will also play important in lowering the inflation rate that is currently above 8%.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that the Lahore Chamber is the premier business support organization of Pakistan. It is recommended that a representative of LCCI should be taken on the Board which reviews POL prices and approves the summary to be submitted to government for final endorsement.
He added that some members of Lahore Chamber are running fuel stations and they often complain that if they want to take up any issue with Petroleum companies they mostly face stiff challenges due to unprofessional attitude of these companies. Since all the petroleum companies are regulated by OGRA, so, they must be directed to ensure professionalism and fairness in their dealings with clients.
He said that the business community should be given information about the specific role of OGRA, in particular the procedures of opening up a new petrol pump. He asked the Member OGRA about the steps taken by your office to ensure the quality of petroleum products in the country.
The LCCI President also sought information about LNG as the business community keep on hearing the news that Pakistan is forced to buy the costly LNG shipments to deal with the shortfall of gas in upcoming winter season.
Member (Oil) Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Zainul Abideen Qureshi said that the country follows oil price mechanism of Gulf Market. The prices are associated with the dollar rate and its fluctuation affects the oil prices. He said that 60 per cent oil of the local demand is being imported.
He said that the demand of gas is going up at the rate of 10 to 15 per cent annually. He said that 50 per cent of gas demand is being met by the LNG and remaining 50 % by the natural gas. He added that the gas resources are depleting with the passage of time. He added that the government imposes the petroleum levy while the provinces collect the sales tax.