Petroleum prices left unchanged

WHILE addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced the government’s decision not to increase the prices of petroleum prices for the month of November. Following an upsurge in the prices of petroleum prices, the regulatory authority had recommended an increase in the range of 2.8 per cent to 15. 66 per cent but the government decided to keep the prices unchanged in order to provide maximum relief to consumers. Given the current political temperature raised by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf to maximum especially in the capital, there is a general impression that the decision not to increase the prices of petroleum products is a political one aimed at soothing the nerves and appeasing the public at large. Whatsoever the reason behind the decision, one cannot deny the fact that ultimate beneficiary of the decision are people of the country as unchanged prices of petroleum would also help keep the prices of other essential commodities under check. It is also worth mentioning here that prices of petroleum over the past few months have slightly gone up in the international market but the government on PM’s directions, who feels for common man, has not passed on the burden to common man. Despite repeated recommendations by the regulator, prices have not been changed since April. We have no doubt that these pro-people initiatives, decisions and implementation of development projects in fact would go in favour of the PML (N) government both in the short and long term. However at this point in time when government is facing political pressure from the opposition, the government needs to stay calm and handle the situation with utmost maturity.

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