The government announced the third hike in the price of petroleum products in less than three weeks. The new price of petrol has now been Rs 233.89/- per liter, and diesel is Rs 263.31/-. Miftah Ismail asks the masses to bear the burden for a few months.
The third hike has increased petrol prices by Rs 24/-, while the previous two hikes increased the price by Rs 30/- each. So in less than a month, petrol prices have increased in total of Rs 84/-. As the citizens bear the burden of such massive hikes all together, the government is paving its way to secure an IMF program which seems to be imperative for the country’s survival.
As imports soar and the country battles to pay for expenditures it can’t afford, the country has also been securing loans since many years, and this time around, as it is every year, the stakes seem to be high and according to Miftah Ismail, “If we don’t increase oil prices, the country could face a default.”
It seems Pakistan is again passing through ‘a very difficult corner in its history’.
The minister has said that the petrol prices are finally at par with international prices and the government will no longer be bearing a loss in the selling of petrol and diesel.
Minister of State for petroleum Musadiq Malik maintained that the government has worked out in detail before announcing the latest increase, as he had this to say:
“This decision is taken because we import nine million tones of oil every year, and 8.8m tones of diesel and if we did not increase the price, the government would have had to bear a loss of over Rs100 billion monthly.”
Let’s hope that the government knows what they’re doing. Moreover, the petrol prices would come down significantly if the international barrel rate comes down, or the rupee appreciates against the dollar. We hope both these things happen.