PTI’s first relief to masses

UP till now, the PTI government has mainly focused on the austerity measures and to reduce unnecessary expenditure whilst at the same time it is also holding consultations to fix the chronic economic problems faced by the country through revenue generation and steps such as launching Diaspora and Sukuk bonds. Despite financially tight situation, it is heartening to see that the new government extended first relief to the masses by reducing the prices of different petroleum products by up to 5.6 percent. It was the PTI’s government first official notification on petroleum products, according to which, the price of high speed diesel widely used in the agriculture and transport sectors has come down by Rs 6.37 per litre whilst petrol has become cheaper by Rs 2.41 per litre.
Indeed the people who reposed confidence in the PTI leadership in the general election were looking avidly towards its government to extend some sort of relief to them at the very outset, and reducing the prices of petroleum products definitely has direct impact on the life of masses. Importantly, the relief has been extended at a time when the government is in a very tight position and considering taking loans to pay off its foreign liabilities. Thus, one really needs to appreciate the very gesture of the PTI government. Earlier also at the meeting of Economic Coordination Committee, Finance Minister Asad Umar had put off the decision regarding gas price hike. Then, the very statement of new Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan is also on record in which he stated to bring down the price of diesel at the level of petrol. Indeed as this product is widely used in transportation and agriculture sectors, doing so will be a great relief to the farmers as well as the commuters and also help bringing down the prices of essential commodities. International oil prices witnessed decline on Friday after reports showed that the US oil production is rising again and drilling activity is increasing, which could help keep global supplies healthy even as Iran oil exports fall due to sanctions. If the international oil prices go down further, one expects that the relief will be passed on to the masses as has been done now. Similarly the power tariff also needs to be brought down as was the promise the PTI during the electioneering to make Pakistani products competitive at the international market. But indeed before that, deficiencies of the power sector need to be addressed without any delay.

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