After Ehsaas Sehat card, it appears that the PTI government is planning to launch Ehsaas Petrol card next. The government wants to enable motorcyclists to buy petrol at a subsidized rate as petrol prices reach sky-high.
Pakistan’s current petrol rate is Rs. 147.83, making it extremely difficult for the majority of motorcyclists to afford it amid rising inflation. In the last few months, Pakistan’s petrol prices have witnessed a steady increase.
The price of petrol and high-speed diesel(HSD) had been increased by Rs4 per litre for the first 15 days of January 2022. PTI government announced the increase to meet the petroleum levy target agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Therefore, in order to protect the public from the rising petrol prices, the government is looking into ways to provide relief. To clarify, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, chaired a meeting of the Macro-Economic Advisory Group (MEAG) at Finance Division to discuss the issue.
One participant of the meeting told the media that they discussed ideas to support the middle class against high inflation. The meeting considered proposals like subsidized fuel and tax reliefs.
As a result of this report, there are speculations that the government will launch a scheme for subsidized fuel. The scheme will be similar to the successful Ehsaas Sehat Card which provides subsidized healthcare to the public.
Important to note, the government also considered a similar proposal last year in October after the petrol price hike. The federal cabinet with Prime Minister in the chair discussed a proposal of providing subsidized fuel to motorcycles, rickshaws, and public transport vehicles’ owners. However, nothing became of it.
Not a popular idea?
It seems as if the government is once again looking for ways to make petrol affordable to the public. It remains to be seen how the government will provide relief to the public. So far, the idea is garnering mixed reactions.
According to some netizens, giving out Ehsaas cards on everything is not a sensible idea as it will put a strain on the economy. They said petrol prices should be market-determined and the government should reduce the taxes.
Really hope govt is not considering this ill conceived idea. Like Shahbaz sharif laptop scheme the card will start getting sold within minutes at higher prices. Petrol prices should be market determined and govt should get out of this mkt. https://t.co/PECBa2iavw
— Najma Minhas (@MinhasNajma) January 28, 2022
On the other hand, the MEAG meeting also discussed a rise in income/minimum wages, internships (for educated unemployed), economic reforms especially in the energy sector, and finally build further on the growth momentum with 5.6% GDP growth, 15% rise in exports, over 10% increase in remittances and record tax collection by building up further business confidence and remove bureaucratic hurdles, and ensure maintenance of consistent policies.
The meeting hashed out the core macroeconomic indicators of Pakistan’s economy. MEAG members expressed satisfaction over the progress of the economy.