Crushing increase in POL prices

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THE individual consumers and the overall economy would receive a severe jolt due to the decision of the Government to hike the prices of POL products significantly in just one go.

On Thursday, it increased the price of petrol by Rs5.40 per litre and that of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs2.54 per litre. Meanwhile, the prices of kerosene and light-diesel oil (LDO) were increased by Rs1.39 and Rs1.27, respectively. The new price for petrol will be Rs118.09 per litre, diesel will be Rs116.5 per litre, kerosene will be Rs87.14 and that of LDO will be Rs84.67.

The Government might have its own reasons to jack up the prices of POL products but there can be no two opinions that the repeated upward revisions in prices of these products are one of the major causes of the unprecedented price-hike, which has broken the back of the consumers and affected the socio-economic activities in the country.

This is the second time the prices of petroleum products have increased in the last 15 days as the government had previously increased the prices of all petroleum products by up to 4.7 per cent at the beginning of July.

The latest decision comes in the wake of the repeated claims by Government leaders to take concrete measures to address the issue of price-hike, which has become the number one concern of the people.

Coupled with several measures announced in the budget, the increase in prices of POL products would mean unbearable burden on the masses especially when the Government offered a peanut to the fixed income groups in the name of relief in the budget.

To rub salt to the injury, the Government tried to seek refuge behind the same old explanation (that OGRA had recommended much more increase but the Government saved consumers by passing on just partial increase), which was never digested by the people in this age of information and awareness.

The opposition ought to agitate the issue at all forums as unbridled price-hike is making the life of the people miserable.

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