PM rejects summary for fuel price hike

ISLAMABAD   –   Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected the summary for the increase in prices of petroleum products, and quoted the PM as having said that citizens must not suffer due the ‘mistakes of the former government’.

She accused the former PTI government of ‘incompetence’ and added that the government of former Prime Minister Imran Khan acceded to the harsh conditions of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) and increased the prices of petroleum products in order to secure a loan from the financial watchdog.

In a statement, Aurangzeb said, “[We] cannot punish the people for the previous government’s worst incompetence, incapability and blatant mistakes. Our government is making every possible effort to not further burden people already facing the brunt of high inflation,” the information minister added.

There were reports that the government was likely to make a partial increase in oil prices to do away with the subsidies in order to meet commitment with the IMF amid the highest impact of global oil prices on domestic oil rates in Pakistan. Following the rumours of an increase in the prices of petroleum products, there were reports of oil shortage in different parts of the country as well. The previous prime minister had frozen oil prices till the budget amid a political turmoil.

The Imran Khan-led government had agreed to the strict conditions of the IMF to raise petrol prices in order to get a loan, the minister said. “Every effort is being made not to increase the burden on the public already troubled by inflation,” she added. The price of petrol and high-speed diesel will remain Rs149.86 and Rs144.15 per litre, respectively. Kerosene and light diesel oil will also continue to be sold for Rs125.56 and Rs118.31 per litre, respectively. This is the second time the prime minister rejected Ogra’s proposal for a price hike.

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