WHILE Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday turned down the OGRA proposal of increasing petroleum prices, Utility Stores Corporation on the other hand issued a notification increasing prices of various commodities including that of ghee, tea and milk.
According to government, petroleum prices have been kept unchanged for the first fortnight of November to protect public interest but the very increase in prices of commodities by the USC clearly negates this claim.
Because of soaring prices of essential commodities, people are already finding it difficult to make both ends meet.
Prime Minister Imran Khan regularly chairs meeting on inflationary trends in the country and in this context increase in prices at utility stores is surprising.
If the government is interested to provide relief to the masses, then it can do so through the wide network of USC.
Keeping the prices at lower side at the utility outlets also help stabilise the prices in open market. We therefore will ask the government to reverse decision of the USC.
Over the weeks, Cabinet members are sharing the good news that prices of edible oil will be reduced by Rs 50 per kilogram but one is yet to see this decline in the market rather its price is constantly on the rise.
The price hike has badly hurt popularity of the PTI and if the party leadership wants to see public anger, they must visit markets and retail shops. The PTI is left with little time and it will have to act fast to address problems of the people.
There should not be any further delay in the launch of targeted subsidy programme for marginalised segments of the society.
Subsidy should not be mere eyewash but sufficient enough that each household can easily purchase essential commodities especially wheat-floor, sugar and cooking oil.
At the same time, relief should also be provided to salaried class by increasing their salaries and allowances.