AS was expected, the Government on Wednesday once again increased the price of petroleum products by Rs.59.16 a litre for diesel, Rs.24.03 for petrol, Rs.33.12 for kerosene oil and Rs.25.53 a litre for light speed diesel.
Announcing the increase, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the Government will bear no more losses on petroleum products, asking the masses to bear the burden for a few months as the Government had no other option.
This is understandably a difficult decision by a Government that is walking on a tight rope politically but there was obviously no other option to address the immediate economic and financial challenges of the country.
The uncertainty surrounding the IMF programme was playing havoc with the stock market as well as exchange rate and together with some other measures, the end of subsidy on petroleum products would hopefully clear the way for restoration of IMF programme and consequential flow of assistance from other countries, which have tied their aid to the successful talks with the Fund.
The Government, however, committed a blunder by staggering the total increase over 20 days as this has allowed the greedy business and transport community to mint money as they increase price of their products and services disproportionately in the absence of a proper and vigilant implementation mechanism.
It has also been observed that most of the transport uses CNG but increases their fares and transportation charges whenever the Government hikes rate of POL products.
The Government should also pay attention to this vital aspect.