PESHAWAR: The poor masses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are yet to benefit from the cut in the petroleum prices as they have not received any relief whatsoever in the wake of recent reduction in the POL rates.
The federal government at the request of the Oil and Gas Regularity Authority (OGRA) reviewed the prices of the petroleum after continued decline in POL rates at the international market.
It reduced the price of petrol by Rs5.02 and fixed it at Rs84.49 against its old rate of Rs89.51. The diesel price was also reduced to Rs97.21 from Rs99.69 while the price of CNG was cut to Rs77.36 from Rs81.95 on Sunday (July 1) as the result of fortnightly review of the prices of the petroleum product and CNG.
During a whirlwind survey in the provincial capital it was observed that the petrol pumps and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations were selling the utilities at the prices recently fixed by the government.
However, the poor masses including the labourers, daily wagers and even salaried class, are yet to take any advantage of decrease in the POL prices as the passengers continued to pay Rs13 per stop on the intra-city routes. The local transport association has not decreased route fares in proportion to the cut in the prices of petrol, diesel and CNG.
Sharif Ahmed, an industry worker, while waiting for a wagon at the Shabistan Cinema stop, told The News the cut in the prices of POL and CNG meant nothing to him as it had brought no relief to his family.
“Only this morning I paid Rs200 for a litre of cooking oil. Why should I rejoice at any reduction in the prices of POL when it is not going to benefit me? I just paid Rs13 for a single stop to reach here to buy some medicines for my ailing mother,” he said.
The auto rickshaws and taxis were also charging the same exorbitant fares they were taking before the cut in the POL prices. An old woman told this scribe that she paid Rs60 to a rickshaw driver to take her from the Charsadda bus stand to Hashtnagari while last week she was charged Rs50 by a rickshaw driver for the same distance. When asked as to why she had paid higher fare when the POL and CNG prices were reduced, she murmured, “I don’t know.”
President of the Local Transport Association Khan Zaman Afridi after a meeting of the association told reporters that they were not going to announce any cut in the fares on intra-city routes. The owners and representatives of the transporters whose passenger vehicles are plying inter-district and inter-provincial routes announced to decrease fares by 10 per cent.
The decision was announced at a meeting of all representative bodies of the transporters, including Public Transport Association, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transport Association and Wagon Association, held here Monday. They said the prices of petrol, diesel and CNG had been reviewed and reduced twice in just one month. Therefore, they were going to decrease the fare on inter-provincial and inter-district routes by 10 per cent. However, the Regional Transport Authority Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has taken no decision so far to announce new fares on any route in the province.