Pakistan increases petroleum prices by Rs30 per litre
ISLAMABAD – Sharif-led coalition government has finally taken a hard step to hike the petroleum prices by Rs30 per litre, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced late Thursday.
Following the massive increase, the price of petrol will be at Rs179.86, diesel at Rs174.15, kerosene oil at Rs155.56 and light diesel at Rs148.31.
Addressing a crucial press conference, PML-N’s finance czar said that the government was offering subsidies on petrol and diesel and the International Monetary Fund resisted releasing the next loan tranche until the subsidies are withdrawn.
The minister said that the authorities decided to increase the price of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, and light diesel from May 27 (tomorrow).
Miftah maintained that the government lost Rs55 billion in huge subsidies, adding that the former government laid landmines through the economy.
Announcing the massive increase, Finance Minister maintained that the government is still bearing a loss of Rs56 per litre on diesel despite the upsurge in prices.
Miftah revealed that the party is aware of the political repercussions of the decision, however, he maintained that the state and its interests are above politics.
Quoting the premier Shehbaz Sharif who earlier refused against increasing petroleum prices, said the country could have gone in the ‘wrong direction’ if prices were not updated.
Taking a hit at the Imran Khan-led government, the PML-N leader said PTI halted the expected rise in petroleum prices after their days were numbered.
He however added that the prices of other key items will be slashed as the Pakistani rupee will rise against the US dollar. Minister revealed to have held positive talks with the global lender and assured of more positive negotiations in the near future.
Miftah hoped that a staff-level agreement will be reached with the International Monetary Fund in the days to come.
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The recent development comes a day after Pakistani delegation and the Washington based lender failed to reach an agreement on an economic bailout in wake of opposing views on fuel and power subsidies.
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