Govt jacks up petroleum prices on IMF demand

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced Thursday the country’s biggest-ever Rs30 per litre hike in the price of petroleum products to fulfill the International Monetary Fund (IMF) condition.

In a press conference, the finance minister said the government has decided to hike the price of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, and light diesel by Rs30, effectively from Thursday night (May 27).

The new prices of Petrol will be Rs179.86 per litre, Diesel Rs174.15 per litre, Kerosene oil Rs155.56 per litre and Light diesel Rs148.31 per litre.

The finance minister noted some burden was shifted on the masses, but despite the massive increase in the price of petroleum products, the government is still bearing losses. 

The finance minister noted that following the decision to hike the prices, financial markets would witness stability, the rupee would strengthen, and the economy would get a boost.

In response to a question, Ismail said due to an increase in the price of petroleum products, inflation would definitely witness an increase. “But tell me, what option did we have instead of taking this step.”

In another question, Miftah said that the incumbent government will complete its term which would end next year in August 2023.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan and the IMF could not reach a staff-level agreement a day earlier after the Fund said there were deviations from the policies, not withdrawing the petrol and electricity subsidies, that were agreed upon between both sides.

The PTI-led Imran Khan government had announced subsidies on both commodities (petroleum, and electricity) and the current government was continuing with the same arrangement.

It is worth mentioning here that PMLN just two months back was marching to Islamabad from Lahore against inflation in the country when they were in opposition.

 

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