Salahuddin Haider

Friday, October 30, 2015 – NEWS have been circulating for the last one week that petrol prices are to be raised again from 1st November, ranging between Rs 3 to over Rs 5 a litre. There will be identical rise in other petroleum prices like diesel, kerosene oil, high speed octane etc.

This is being done by OGRA ( oil and gas petroleum regulatory authority), an organization consisting of self-centredbureaucrats, and devoid of any political philosophy as to needs and requirements of the public. Rise in fuel prices has recoiling effects, and would cause further rise in prices of items of daily use.

An impassioned appeal is being made to the Prime Minister to reject the summary, which will be submitted to him by tonight or tomorrow during day time by the ministry of petroleum by OGRA. A government worth name is recognized by its deeds. Public welfare and addressing their grievances has to be its foremost priority.

Petrol prices have been falling world over, and had slid to almost 40 dollars a barrel. Raising fuel prices in Pakistan, therefore, will be shocking for people. Transport will be costlier, and charges will automatically push the prices of essential itemsupwards.

That will be unbearable for people, already complaining of helplessness, and are unable to meet their daily expenses. Poor are unable to pay school fee of their wards. Buying books, stationery etc, is added burden for them. Does a government, elected on popular votes, will do justice for the support given to it by the poor and the needy, living in hutments, or in slum areas in sub-human conditions.

Pathetic is their condition. Poverty level has gone done substantially over the years, and yet a new bombshell is ready to be dropped, which will only add to their miseries. People, are therefore, looking to the prime minister for relief.

Bureaucracy in Pakistan is interested only in its perks and privileges. It is least interested, and does not even wish to know the problems of the general public. Raising fuel prices at this critical juncture of our history, when the country looks poised for a take-off, the government will be accused of being irresponsible.

The prime minister, in the past, has shown maturity, and has often rejected government proposals for rise in prices. Recently a cess was put on gas prices. That led to production cost of our products, making them incompetitive in world markets. China, Turkey, India, and Bangla Desh are doling out subsidies after subsidies to their industries . Their products are slowly occupying larger share in international markets, whereas Pakistani products have been suffering for quite a while.

Exports have shown dwindling trends, widening the gap between imports and exports. Rise is prices are no solutions. It also will show failure of the government’s financial policies. Ishaq Dar should attend to this problem without delay.

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