Govt once again drops ‘petrol bomb’

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Jacks up petrol price by Rs24.03, diesel by Rs59 per litre

The coalition government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has once again increased the prices of petroleum products by up to Rs59 per litre.

Price of diesel has been increased by Rs59, petrol by Rs24.03 per litre and kerosene oil by Rs29.50 per litre, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said while addressing a news conference along with State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik late on Wednesday.. The new rates have come into effect from Wednesday’s midnight.

The minister while addressing a press conference in Islamabad said the new prices will come into effect from midnight tonight,.

The latest round of hike would see petrol’s price increase by Rs24.03 and soar to Rs233.89, and diesel will be sold at Rs263.31 — up by Rs59. Meanwhile, kerosene oil’s new price will be Rs211.47 following a Rs29.49 surge and light diesel price will be Rs 207.47 after an increase of Rs29.16.

Ismail said the government had no choice but to “pass on” the impact of international prices to consumers in Pakistan.

The government has raised the petrol price by more than Rs84 per litre in the last 20 days.

Explaining the reasons behind another hike in prices of petroleum products, the minister said that the international price of petrol was $120 per litre.

“Our country is still facing a loss of Rs24.03 in petrol, Rs59.16 in diesel, Rs29.49 in kerosene oil and Rs29.16 in light diesel oil,” he told the press conference.

He said the government was spending Rs120 billion on petrol subsidies. “I have been seeing the country’s situation for 30 years, but I’ve never seen such a situation in terms of inflation.”

He also blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for his policies causing “damage” to the national economy.

Ismail said the government was tied by agreements made by the PTI government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He acknowledged that the middle-class will also suffer from the petrol price hike, adding the government would take measures to contain the impact of the price hike on people.

“We have taken difficult decisions before and we will take in the future as well to protect the country from financial difficulties,” the minister said.