KARACHI  -    Different political parties censured the PTI-led federal government for increasing the prices of petroleum product, demanding withdrawal of the hike to provide some sort of relief to the already overburden masses.

Pakistan People’s Party Sindh Secretary General Waqar Mehdi condemned the hike in the prices of petroleum products and termed it a revenge of the federal government from the masses. He said that the masses did not vote for the PTI instead it bought the general elections 2018 and that’s why the cabinet is trying to take revenge from the masses. “POL prices are lower in the international market but the federal government has imposed too many taxes and increased the prices unlawfully,” he alleged.

Mehdi also took jab at Finance Minister Asad Umar and said that before coming into the power, Umar used to criticize then the government every time it raised the prices of basic necessities but now he kept a mum. “Immature rulers have proved that they are not capable of running the country’s affairs,” he asserted. Similarly, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan - the coalition partner of the federal government - also expressed severe concerns over possible rise in the prices of daily-use commodities in the wake of hike in fuel prices. The MQM-P Sindh Assembly lawmakers expressed their concern and said that such steps would further overburden the masses.

The lawmakers suggested that instead of overburdening the masses, a mechanism should be devised to properly collect agriculture tax and other taxes from the landlords. “The agriculture tax should be received properly and the masses should be relieved of hike in prices,” they said and further demanded steps to avert looming hike in the prices of daily-use items.

Separately, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Karachi Ameer Allama Razi Hussani said that the hike is tantamount to “bury the people alive” as they have been left with no other option. Addressing the party’s urgently called meeting here, he said, “The TLP rejects the decision of the federal government to increase petroleum prices ahead of the budget as it would lead to inflation storm.”

Allama Hussaini was of the view that the announcement of Rs2 billion subsidy on essential commodities by the federal government was a joke with the masses as ‘the prices had already been increased by 10 percent but the authorities concerned seem least bothered to take notice.’ He added that the people will no longer keep calm and would be compelled to hold protest demonstration, if the inflation keeps shooting up. The TLP city chief demanded of the federal government to immediately review the hike in petroleum prices.