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A More Affordable Variant of Petrol May be Launched in Pakistan Soon

During last week’s meeting of the Planning Commission, the topic of discussion was the introduction of a special fuel for motorcycles that would be affordable for low-income and lower-middle-class users.

The issue of introducing a special fuel for motorcycles has been under consideration by policymakers for several years. However, with the recent increase in petrol prices due to the depreciation of the rupee, the issue has become even more urgent and important.

Pakistan is often viewed as an elitist state, and this is reflected in the petrol supply chain, which is geared towards higher-income car owners even though motorcycles account for 40-50% of overall petrol consumption. While it is true that petrol markets worldwide tend to prioritize cars, as they are the major consumer category in most advanced countries, it is important to consider the needs of motorcycle users in Pakistan as well.

In developing countries like Pakistan, motorcycle riders are a major consumer category. While it is not suggested that the petrol market should ignore cars, it is important to consider the needs and budgets of motorcycle users as well.

If the oil industry is not responsive to the needs of half of the petrol market, politicians may need to intervene in order to address the situation in the current climate of intense political competition.

The issue of providing affordable fuel for motorcycles has both technical and economic aspects. Experts argue that motorcycles do not need high-octane fuel (more than RON 90) for their engines and that higher grades such as RON 92 and 95 are unnecessary. Producing these higher grades is more expensive, especially in Pakistan where older refineries are not equipped with catalytic reformers and must import and add manganese-based additives, which adds to the cost.

The need for a lower grade, cheaper petrol with a lower RON value specifically for motorcycles has been identified. This type of fuel may not be necessary for cars, but it is a product that can be produced by Pakistan’s low-tech refineries. The other argument for introducing this fuel is socio-economic; providing subsidies to low-income motorcycle users. It is unfair to tax both high-income car users and low-income motorcycle users at the same rate.

One solution to the problem of providing affordable fuel for motorcycles is to introduce special low-octane petrol that would be taxed at a lower rate than normal higher-octane petrol. This approach is likely to be supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has emphasized the importance of targeted subsidies that benefit the needy rather than providing lower taxation for everyone.

In addition to introducing low-priced, low-octane petrol, there are also other direct solutions to the problem of providing affordable fuel for motorcycles.

    • Do you think bike owners will be having enough money to buy new electric bikes, even if subsidised ? Plus where would you bring electricity from to charge bikes ?

  • I hope they dont ignore the environmental affect of this low octane fuel for bikes and 20 yrs down the lane we start crying of carbon emissions and pollution due to low grade fuel for the bikes as culprit.

    • Of course they will ignore.
      Who cares for environment.
      Just get enough votes to stay in power. That’s all they care about.

  • What if they work on traffic jam? Road conditions where thousands of vehicle run on 1st gear and burning fuel standing in ques?

  • Lets see which new fuel is coming to run in our bike engines?, and how long these engines will run?

  • How would it be controlled as there is likely hood of miss use. Mafias would sky rocket bikers consumption and start selling low cost fuel to car owners. This was observed when “furtuner” was present on cng stations.

  • You’d need Pakistan would want more green energy . Solar etc and push for the electric van bike car ahead.

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