ISLAMABAD– The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said recent hike in petroleum and CNG prices despite a slide in the international market shows that government remains indifferent to the plight of masses.The hike speaks of mismanagement and inefficiency of the part of the government which has failed to raise funds through any other means except upward revisions of fuel prices, it said.

The minister for petroleum and natural resources should immediately resign after accepting his repeated failures, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. The PPP-led coalition has raised petroleum prices by more than 60 per cent since it came to power despite getting almost Rs 40 per litre as levies and sales tax from consumers, he added.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that in a bid to earn an additional Rs 100 billion, the government has taken a step which will destabilised economy and threaten budget of every household. The move has triggered new wave of inflation with transporters charging ten per cent more and prices of items of daily use surging to 25 per cent.

He said that PEW fully supports protest by different sectors against the unjustified move which has made life miserable for majority.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that perks of politicians, claims of democracy and inflation is on the increase while salaried class is not getting any relief.

Similarly, government has failed to contain non-developmental expenditures, restructure loss-making enterprises, stop buying loyalties, reduce foreign trips, combat corruption or introduce reforms.

The government has also failed to check hoarders who will start milking masses as practiced after every revision in energy prices.

The recent hike proves that those who were pinning hope on government to do something positive for economic revival were wrong, said Dr. Mughal.