ISLAMABAD: The government on Saturday announced a massive increase in the prices of all petroleum products with immediate effect for the next 15 days.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) have been increased by Rs10.49 and Rs12.44 per litre respectively.
The price of kerosene oil has been increased by Rs10.95 while light speed diesel has got costlier by Rs8.84.
“At present, oil prices have risen around $85 a barrel (Global Benchmark Brent) highest since October 2018,” read the notification.
It added that entire energy chain prices have witnessed a strong surge in the past couple of months due to higher demand for energy spots and supply bottlenecks.
In the current scenario, the ministry said, the government has absorbed the pressure and provided maximum relief to the consumers by keeping Petroleum Levy and Sales Tax to a minimum. Therefore, prices worked out by OGRA have been approved.
The new prices of petroleum products will be effective from October 16 (today).
From October 16 (today), the new price of petrol will be Rs137.79 per litre, high-speed diesel will be Rs134.48 per litre.
While kerosene oil will be sold at Rs110.26 per litre and light diesel oil at Rs108.35.
PPP demands withdrawal of hike in fuel prices
Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani demanded the government roll back its decision to increase the prices of petroleum products.
"In September, the price of petrol was hiked by Rs9 per litre," he said. "The prices of necessary food items are at an all-time high now. The government should immediately withdraw its decision to increase the price of petrol," he added.
He said the masses will be unable to brave the hike in prices of petroleum products, adding that the "elite in the government" is pushing people towards either suicide or rebellion.
Rabbani said the government had increased the power tariff by Rs1.39 per unit in line with the IMF's demands. He said the PPP condemns the move, adding that it was taken after a subsidy of Rs77bn on electricity was withdrawn by the government.
"The government has hiked the prices of cooking oil and ghee by 40%," he said. "The prices of cooking oil and ghee have skyrocketed to Rs399 and Rs409 per kg. Prices of tomatoes, potatoes, ghee, mutton, LPG and 22 other items of necessary use have seen an increase recently."
Rabbani lamented that the US dollar had reached an all-time high over the past couple of days, adding that the IMF wanted the government to impose more taxes in exchange of its loan to Pakistan.
‘No words to describe the extreme cruelty’
Reacting to the recent hike in petrol prices, PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif said that following a 14% increase in power tariff, the “petrol bomb” on the masses is a continuation of the “mini-budget”.
Lashing out at the PTI government, Shehbaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has no right to remain in office and demanded his resignation.
“PM Imran’s resignation could provide some relief to the nation,” Shehbaz Sharif said, adding that the “mini budgets” are the proofs of the economic failures of the incumbent government.
Taking to twitter, the PML-N leader said, “No words to describe the extreme cruelty this selected PTI regime has inflicted on the people in the form of yet another increase in the prices of items of daily use.”
He said that these latest hikes along with the "petrol bomb" will push people to the brink of starvation.
‘Petrol price increased by 10-15% in the international market’
Speaking on the surge of petrol prices, the Ministry of Finance said it had undertaken the measure in accordance with the recommendations of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
"The government is charging the masses only Rs2 petroleum levy," said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance. "The increase in the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre is an increase of almost 8.15%".
The spokesperson said that for the worldwide price of petrol over the past 15 days has surged by 15%. He said the price of petrol has also increased due to the depreciation of rupee.
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