Petrol up again

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WHILST international prices of petroleum products are witnessing declining trend with Brent Crude hovering around ninety one dollars per barrel, our government has once again chosen to enhance the price of petrol by Rs 1.45 from Rs 235.98 to Rs 237.43 whilst the price of diesel has been kept unchanged at Rs 247.43.

A few months back when the government was not raising prices of petroleum products regardless of their increase in the international market, we, as well as other segments of the society including economic experts and industrialists were standing with the government to raise the price, considering that was the need of the hour.

However, the increase of any sort now amounts to rubbing salt on the wounds of the people already bitten hard by the price hike.

Rather there is a need to bring down these prices keeping in view the current trend in the international market.

We understand that the continuous fall of the rupee, which lost another Re 1 against the dollar in the interbank market on Tuesday, is a big obstacle in the way of the government to pass on the relief to the consumers.

We have repeatedly been suggesting in these columns that the government must review the current free float exchange rate policy.

Leaving the exchange rate at the mercy of market forces has only been wreaking havoc and everybody including the common man as well as the industrialists is bearing the brunt of it.

The prime concern these days for the industrialists is the energy-fuelled inflation, which is forcing many to halt operations as their business has become unviable.

The government must intervene and that too immediately to check depreciation of rupee besides revisiting trade and immigration policy, especially with Afghanistan because their traders and businessmen are also eating up our foreign reserves and revenues.

There is no denying that the government is faced with a difficult economic situation and the current floods have further complicated the situation.

Nonetheless, the government will have to act on important matters, especially reversing thTribute to an undying legacye current upward trend of greenback. This will go a long way in addressing the issue of price hike.

 

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