Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain called out the opposition for unjustified criticism on the increase of petroleum products prices in the country.
Recently, the government once again jacked up petrol prices. The new price of petrol hits a record level of Rs159.86 per liter. Meanwhile, high-speed diesel (HSD) is at Rs Rs154.15 per liter, kerosene oil at Rs126. 56 per liter, and LDO at Rs 123.97/liter in the open market of the country.
The high prices led to outrage and mass criticism from Opposition leaders who took to Twitter to slam the government. According to the Opposition, the PTI government is indifferent to the public’s suffering and continues to increase prices.
However, Fawad Chaudhry responded to the criticism from the Opposition. In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said the opposition parties criticized the price hike in petroleum products but failed to provide an alternative which, he believed, was the main aspect of any criticism.
He asked the opposition whether the government should not increase the oil prices if they jumped to $95 per barrel from $60 in the international market. He said the opposition, in such a scenario, should bring forth a ‘magic lamp,’ if they had any.
“Opposition parties have been criticizing the rise in prices of petroleum products, but the main aspect of any criticism is that you offer alternatives,” Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.
“How can the government not increase fuel prices if the oil price has jumped $95 from 60 dollars per barrel in the international market. Tell me if there is a magic lamp,” the minister further tweeted.
اپوزیشن کی جماعتیں پٹرولیم مصنوعات کی قیمتوں میں اضافے پر تنقید کر رہی ہیں لیکن کسی بھی تنقید کا اہم پہلو یہ ہوتا ہے کہ آپ متبادل دیتے ہیں اب اپوزیشن بتائے کہ بین الاقوامی منڈی میں تیل 60 ڈالر سے 95 ڈالر پر پہنچ جائے تو حکومت قیمت کیسے نہ بڑھائے ؟ کوئ جادو کا چراغ ہے تو بتا دیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 17, 2022
Pakistan’s fuel prices still lowest in region?
Criticism continues to rain on the PTI government as it defends its decision. Azhar Mashwani, the digital media spokesperson for Punjab Chief Minister, also hit out at former finance minister Miftah Ismail’s criticism.
“Sales Tax on petrol is zero at the moment. Now compare it with the rate of taxes on the date of Imran Khan’s tweet you quoted,” Mashwani tweeted.
Sales Tax on Petrol is ZEEO at the moment. Now compare it with the rate of taxes on the date of Imran Khan’s tweet you qouted? https://t.co/5k92O54nOT
— Azhar Mashwani (@MashwaniAzhar) February 15, 2022
The PTI government maintains that it was forced to increase the fuel prices owing to international prices. Regarding this, Science and Technology Minister Senator Shibli Faraz advised the masses Wednesday to “limit” the use of petroleum products to avoid the impact of high fuel prices as Pakistan is not an oil-producing country.
Backing the government’s decision, the minister said that the oil prices have surged to $95 per barrel in the international market.
Important to note, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has significantly impacted oil prices. If the situation in Ukraine deteriorates, oil and gas supplies from Russia to Europe may be interrupted. As a result, wholesale prices will increase further. However, as per reports, the fuel prices in Pakistan are still the lowest in the region.
— SHAFAAT SHAH (@INFANTRY28) February 16, 2022