The government has so far released around 91.6 percent funds against the total allocation of Rs 1,8441.230 million to execute eight petroleum sector projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2020-21). According to the official data as of February 26 that showed a slight readjustment in funds’ allocation and releases, an amount of Rs1686.644 million had been provided for the timely and smooth execution of the projects. As per the PSDP details, the government had earmarked an amount of Rs1,662.684 million for five ongoing projects, out of which Rs100 million were meant for expansion and up-gradation of Pakistan Petroleum Corehouse (PETCORE), Rs 6.524 million for exploration and evaluation of coal in Nosham and Bahlol areas of Balochistan, Rs303.160 million for supply of 13.5 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas to Dhabeji Special Economic Zone, Rs1,153 million for the supply of 30 MMCFD gas at the doorstep (Zero Point) of Rashakai Special Economic Zone Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Rs100 million for up-gradation of HDIP’s POL testing facilities at Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and ISO Certification of Petroleum Testing Laboratory at Islamabad. While Rs123.476 million had been kept for three new schemes, out of which Rs48 million were allocated for the establishment of National Minerals Data Centre, Rs 20 million for geological mapping of 50 Toposheets (out of 354 unmapped Toposheets) of outcrop area of Balochistan and Rs55.476 million for strengthening, up-gradation and ISO certification of Karachi Laboratories Complex (KLC) at HDIP Operations Office, Karachi. Despite financial constraints and substantial increase in the prices of petroleum products at the international market, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has not passed on its impact to the common man by maintaining the rates at lowest level as compared to regional countries. Pakistan is standing atop in providing the low-priced petroleum products for the welfare of its masses among regional countries, and on the 18th position in a list of 167 countries of the world, according to an official document available with APP. The present petroleum rates in Pakistan are lowest in comparison to the regional countries including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India where per liter price of petrol varies from $0.83 to $1.26, while the commodity in Pakistan is available at $0.70 per liter. As per a comparative statement, the price of per liter petrol in Pakistan is $0.70, Sri Lanka $0.83, Nepal $0.95, Bangladesh $1.05, India $1.26, China $1.03, United Kingdom $1.70 and Germany $1.64. Meanwhile, a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told APP that petrol rates in India were revised on a daily basis transmitting even a minute’s variation in global oil prices to the public and dealers. Contrary to it, he said, the petroleum prices in Pakistan were reviewed fortnightly with the government’s utmost efforts to bear the burden of upward fluctuation in the international market by its own, but sometimes a slight portion had to be passed on to the masses in extreme compelling situations. This also reflected for the current fortnight when Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected a summary of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to increase the petroleum prices, saying the people must be given relief. OGRA had proposed an increase of Rs 6.22 in the price of Motor Spirit Petrol, Rs 6.82 in the price of High-Speed Diesel, Rs 6.37 raise in the price of Kerosene Oil, and Rs 5.78 hike in Light Diesel Oil. Answering a question, the official said the petrol prices fixed by the PTI government were the lowest as compared to previous two governments both in terms of lowest and highest prices.