Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced a massive rise in the price of petroleum products after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasized the abolition of subsidies on commodities on Thursday.
During a press conference, the Minister of Finance said that the government has decided to increase the price of petrol, diesel, kerosene, and light diesel, effectively at midnight tonight.
New prices (per litre):
Petrol — Rs179.86
Diesel — Rs174.15
Kerosene oil — Rs155.56
Light diesel — Rs148.31
The minister of finance noted that a certain burden had been transferred to the masses, but despite the massive rise in fuel prices, the government was still bearing losses.
Pakistan and the IMF were unable to reach an agreement at the staff level one day earlier after the Fund declared that there were policy gaps that had been agreed upon between the two sides.
The PTI-led government had initially accepted the IMF’s call to increase the price of electricity and petroleum products. But later in March, Imran Khan announced subsidies for both products – and the current government continued to do so.
The minister of finance stressed that, following the decision to increase prices, the financial markets would witness stability, the rupee would strengthen and the economy would be stimulated.
In reply to a question, Ismail said that as a result of higher oil prices, inflation would certainly see a rise. “But tell me, what option did we have rather than taking this step?”
Ismail said that Khan, contrary to the IMF agreement, had announced subsidies for oil products when his government’s tenure was coming to an end.
Ismail said that it was unfair for the low-income segment of society that people who own cars, industries, and generators receive subsidies.