The prices of petroleum products in Pakistan took a big jump on Thursday as the federal government increased the price of petrol by Rs 5.40 per litre and that of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs2.54 per litre. The change was shared by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill, who said that the prime minister had decided to give the public ‘huge relief’ by not raising prices based on the recommendations of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). “Prime Minister [Imran Khan] went against OGRA’s recommendation and approved Rs5.40 increase in petrol price keeping in mind public interest,” the special assistant said. The prices of kerosene and light-diesel oil (LDO) were increased by Rs1.39 and Rs1.27, respectively. The new price for petrol will be Rs118.09 per litre, diesel will be Rs116.5 per litre, kerosene will be Rs87.14 and that of LDO will be Rs84.67. Gill disclosed that OGRA, in view of rising petroleum prices in the international market over the last few months, had recommended that the price of petrol be increased by Rs11.4 per litre. “Contrary to Ogra’s recommendations, the prime minister only approved an increase of Rs5.40 per litre keeping in view public interest,” he tweeted. The government would ‘endure the burden’ that would arise due to not increasing the prices in line with OGRA’s recommendations and ‘giving the public maximum relief’, he added. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that country’s petrol prices were currently lowest in comparison to other regional countries. In a tweet, he said that the government had been left with no option but to enhance the price due to persistent increase in the global market. Sharing comparison of petrol prices of regional countries in Pakistan rupee, he said Pakistan had Rs 118 per litre, Bhutan Rs 146, Sri Lanka Rs 147, Bangladesh Rs 167, Nepal Rs 172, China Rs 189 and India Rs 220. This is the second time the prices of petroleum products have increased in the last 15 days. The government had previously increased the prices of all petroleum products by up to 4.7 per cent at the beginning of July to pass on ‘partial impact’ of rise in international prices. The ex-depot price of petrol was increased by Rs2 per litre and that of HSD by Rs1.44 per litre. The ex-depot price of kerosene was increased by Rs3.86 per litre and that of LDO by Rs3.72 per litre, respectively. The government had to reduce its tax on petrol and diesel to allow a minimum increase. The finance ministry had said at the time that the government maintained the practice of keeping the prices of petroleum products at an affordable level and had given up Rs252.4 billion petroleum levy it could have collected against the budgeted Rs30 per litre on all products. It had said OGRA had been recommending a substantial increase in the prices of petroleum products since May 1, corresponding to the increase in prices of petroleum products in the international market. However, the government absorbed the impact of increase by making adjustments in sales tax and petroleum levy. Currently, the petroleum levy rates are at the lowest level of the last six years, the finance ministry had said.