THE increase in the price of petroleum products at a time when the country is reeling under great inflationary pressure should be strongly condemned. The increase of Rs 1.70 in CNG and Rs 1.45 in diesel is too exasperating for words. Since, the entire countrys transport industry, ranging from the transportation of goods to public travel sector, depends on diesel, the move will have disastrous effects for the masses and lead to an all round hike in the prices of goods. Actually, it is the callous and totally cold-blooded policies of OGRA that jack up the prices virtually every month without taking into cognisance the state of the economy to absorb these shocks. There have been proposals to curtail OGRAs powers in fixing the prices, yet unfortunately, the government has yet to take any positive initiative. Its candle-end economies have only taken bread out of the common mans mouth. Besides, the argument that the government is raising these prices to make up for revenue losses is to stand logic on its head. Why should the poverty stricken people be burdened with paying for the governments follies and misplaced policies? One would have thought that given all the inflationary pressure on the public, the PPP government would have lowered the prices to help stabilise the economy. The destruction caused by floods in all parts of country especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where food prices have gone sky high should have at least deterred the government from taking this cruel step. There is little doubt that the present raise would further fan the flames. The political impact of the measure is going to be worse. Already, because of the governments failure to check artificial pre-Ramzan price hike of essential food items, the masses are full of resentment. It is about time that OGRAs price fixing mechanism was reviewed. The government needs to correct its priorities lest there is a popular explosion of anger.