In Pakistan the prices of petroleum products are frequently adjusted by Ogra vis-à-vis the prices variation in international market. However, when hike in the price of oils takes place, every commodity prices shoot up on the pretext of increase in transport fares and oil products usage in production of various items. This is followed by sky-high fares of public and private transport. However, if there is any decrease in the prices of petroleum products, its beneficial effects are not trickled down to the people.
In order to avoid this hitch, it is suggested that Ogra should review oil prices on an annual basis instead of linking them with international market. It may keep a margin of 4-5 percent profit over sell prices. This extra saved amount can be utilised to provide subsidy and sustain the discrepancy between prices. This way the inflation in rates of various commodities and transport fares can be kept under stringent check.
Yousaf Khan (Islamabad)