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Government mulls over increasing price of petrol

A meeting between Pakistan and the IMF is expected to take place in Doha, Qatar, and analysts suggest that the government would have to concede on not increasing the price of petroleum products after it failed to receive any financial grants from its allies.

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Amidst the rising inflation, Kamran Khan, one of the country’s leading journalists, reminded Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the hike in prices of major commodities since his government came into power. In his tweet, the leading journalist attached an image that highlighted the increase in prices of major commodities. According to the post, the cost of essential kitchen ingredients, including tea and cooking oil, had recorded a significant increase with a Rs. 12 increase in the former and a Rs. 20 per liter increase in the latter. The price of per kg of chicken had also soared to Rs. 650. In Quetta, chicken and beef prices had recorded an increase of Rs. 250 per kg.

Separately, in Lahore, the cost of onions surpassed Rs. 200 per kg. A flour crisis also looms over the country as consumers face higher prices for products made with wheat. Following the crisis, the price of a 20 kg bag of flour in Peshawar had soared to Rs. 1400. The analyst noted that all of this inflation was despite the government’s decision not to increase the price of petrol. He added that once the government “increases the price of petrol and diesel by Rs. 20, the prices of the commodities would increase by another 10-15 percent,” it will not be able to find a place to hide from the public’s outrage.

Read More: PML-N govt. refuses to increase petrol prices

The incumbent government is likely to increase the price of petrol and other commodities as the International Monetary Fund seems very dissatisfied with Pakistan’s adherence to the terms laid out by it. Pakistan looks to secure a loan payment from the IMF; however, it has refused to release the payment and has set forth a series of preconditions that Pakistan has to meet before the IMF releases the pending installment of loans. It demanded steep fiscal adjustments, discontinuation of the amnesty scheme, increase in fuel prices, increase in power tariffs, and restoration of taxes.

A meeting between Pakistan and the IMF is expected to take place in Doha, Qatar, and analysts suggest that the government would have to concede on not increasing the price of petroleum products after it failed to receive any financial grants from its allies. The decision to increase the price of petroleum products would likely be undertaken before a delegation from Pakistan meets with the IMF.

Read More: Pakistan’s National Electricity Plan 2022-2026 in perspective

Addressing a news conference Federal Minister for Power Khurrum Dastgir Khan on Monday hinted that the government was considering a steep incline in the price of petroleum products. However, he added that the government would maintain electricity rates despite an increase in coal prices.

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