‘Easy target’ Miftah defends petrol price hike despite Nawaz, Zardari reservations

Miftah Petrol hike

Islamabad: A day after announcing a hike in the price of petrol, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail went on to defend the decision despite the apparent backlash from PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

In a tweet on Monday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that he was an “easy target”, but that was “fine” because he knew he was sincere to the country and that he saved it from default by working hard to the “best of his ability”.

Miftah Ismail attracted criticism because it was apparent that in the wake of the recent appreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and the fall in the prices of crude oil in the international market, the government would pass on the benefit to the general public.

Reacting to the development, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to say that Nawaz Sharif had strongly opposed the decision to raise the price of petrol.

Maram Nawaz added that Nawaz Sharif couldn’t burden the people further and that he was not in favour of the decision, she said, adding that Nawaz also left the meeting.

In a separate statement, Former President Asif Ali Zardari also expressed concern over the increase in the price of petroleum products by the government.

He added that although the PPP is a part of the government and supports it, there must be consultations on such decisions.

“I am with the Prime Minister and will meet him soon and will also talk about the economic team,” he added.

Govt announces petrol price hike

The government on Monday increased petrol price by Rs6.72 per litre, while slashed diesel price by Rs0.51.

The price of petrol will be Rs233.91 per litre, diesel will be Rs244.44 per litre, kerosene oil will be sold for Rs199.40 per litre, and the price of light diesel oil will be Rs191.75 per litre. The new prices have come into effect from today.

“In the wake of fluctuations in petroleum prices in the international market and exchange rate variations, the government has decided to revise the existing prices or petroleum products to pass on the impact to the consumers,” the statement released by the Finance Division.

Earlier on Monday, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Monday issued a notification to slash the prices of imported liquefied natural (LNG) for the month of August. The price per unit of LNG for the Sui Northern system has been reduced by $0.5107.

The price of LNG on the Sui Southern system has been reduced by $0.4792 per unit.

The new LNG price on the Soi Northern system is set at $16.9496 per unit. , the new LNG price on the Sui South system is set at $17.4783 per mmBtu.

The July LNG price on the Soi Northern system was $17.4603 per unit. , the June LNG price on the Sui South system was $17.9575 per mmBtu.

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