Islamabad: Delighted by the reduction in fuel prices, a Pakistani daily said Wednesday that "the benefits of an international downturn in fuel rates have been passed on to Pakistani consumers".
The News International said in an editorial titled "A rare delight?" that news of price reductions is rare. "When it comes it is greeted with delight, even though in this case the 5.5 percent drop in fuel rates essentially brings us back to where we were a week or two ago, given the steep rises we have been seeing."
"Nevertheless, the decrease announced by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), in conformity with a drop in international fuel rates, was met with relief around the country," it said.
The daily, however, cautioned that it was as yet uncertain if the reduction will last more than a week - the period after which a review is routinely made by OGRA.
"However, for this one week at least, vehicle owners will be pleased to buy petrol at the price of Rs.102.45 instead of Rs.108.45 to where it had soared last week," it added.
It said CNG prices too have been brought down "but availability remains erratic, with filling stations sometimes unable to supply it even on days when it should be available".
"For now, consumers have a brief respite."
The editorial said that while the rates of other fuels have been reduced only nominally, the "high cost of diesel will also keep inflation up".
"While we do have welcome news, with price tabs on pumps for once adjusted down, the overall cost of necessities remains high. Although the benefits of an international downturn in fuel rates have been passed on to Pakistani consumers, people can only await the next OGRA announcement and hope it doesn't bring too much bad news," it said.
The daily also hoped for a check on fuel hoarding through properly enforced mechanisms "since prices fluctuate at regular intervals, leaving open various loopholes for the unscrupulous to exploit".
First Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 11:39