Petrol, diesel prices hiked massively in ‘national interest’
Long queues form at petrol stations across Pakistan as the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) calls for a nationwide strike in Karachi on November 24, 2021. — Reuters
The cost of petrol in Pakistan has seen a significant rise of Rs19.95 per litre, now costing Rs272.95, as per the latest fortnightly review, announced Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday. He emphasized that this decision was made in accordance with the “national interests.”
These updated prices are in effect immediately.
The government was set to announce this on July 31, but the announcement was delayed as officials attempted to either maintain or lower the prices, considering the burden it could place on citizens already struggling with inflation.
Dar, making his final announcement as Finance Minister before his term ends on August 12, stated that this increase in prices was unavoidable as Pakistan had made an agreement with the IMF to impose a petroleum development levy (PDL) on the prices.
|Prices as of 16.07.2023
|New prices as of 01.08.2023
“We attempted to either decrease or adjust the pricing structure. However, our commitments with the IMF concerning the petroleum development levy can’t be ignored,” Dar pointed out.
The finance minister mentioned that the government could have lessened the PDL if not for the agreement with the IMF.
Dar asserted that he wouldn’t follow the steps of the previous government, which had lowered the petrol price but couldn’t fulfill the obligations set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He further noted that the international market’s price for high-speed diesel had significantly surged, compelling the government to raise local prices.
“With our national interest in mind, it’s essential we pass on the minimum calculated increase,” the finance minister concluded.