The recent increase in the price of petroleum products is the worst example of shifting the economic burden on to the masses without having the least consideration about them, as to how they will manage their daily affairs in the already grim circumstances. Everybody knows that an increase in the price of petrol causes a price hike in each and every item of daily use.We live in a society where no protection is found for consumers’ rights; the load of increased cost is directly shifted to end – users by traders’, adding more to their profits. The core issue regarding hike in fares haunts the ordinary man, who has to travel a lot during the day on public transport. A major portion of his income is consumed in fares. Simultaneously, food items become expensive, as everything moves on wheels. This causes havoc to the salaried class and fixed-income people, who barely find it possible to keep their bones and flesh together.Instead of giving relief to the wretched people pinned up in financial shackles, more miseries have been inflicted on them. Millions of people crumble and cry on the regular increase in POL prices, which add to their financial hardships. They have already been tested to the last limit, and a further test of their strength would rip them apart into pieces. Evidently, there must be a limit to extorting the people. The onus must be put on reducing circular debts, foreign debts, and rampant corruption in the country. Squeezing the people in the shape of oil price increase is unfair and beyond the ethics of democracy. The increase must be taken back and alternative sources of income explored.IFTIKHAR MIRZA,Islamabad, September 20.