It seems like the recent hike in petrol has also alarmed the provincial governments who are now taking austerity measures. Both Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have decided to cut the fuel quota for government officials. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also decided to cut the fuel quota for members of the cabinet.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday ordered to cut fuel quota by 40 percent for Chief Minister, provincial ministers, and other government officials.
Murad Ali Shah took notice of the latest fuel price hike and said that the rising prices should not impact the provincial treasury. Moreover, he said that the reduction in fuel quota will help reduce the strain on the treasury and thereby help share the burden on the masses.
“Overburdening the treasury means overburdening the masses,” he added.
Soon after, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chief Minister also took the same measure. KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan directed all provincial departments to cut down on their fuel expenditure by 35 percent amid an “unusual spike”. The decision was taken to reduce the “very high pressures on the resources” of the K-P government led by the PTI.
High petrol prices
The government faces intense backlash from the public after raising petrol prices for the second time in a few days. On May 27th, the Finance Ministry raised petrol prices by Rs. 30. Then later on 2nd June, it again raised the prices by Rs. 30 even after the federal government assured that it would maintain prices after the May 27th price hike.
The high petrol prices have resulted in anger from the public who will now have to face the brunt of inflationary pressure as a result. The public has protested against the fuel hike, for instance, in Karachi, citizens even vandalized petrol stations. Moreover, the public has been heavily criticizing the government for again increasing the price of petrol.
Why should common folk shoulder the failures of political, military & judicial elite? This joke has to end. If common man is forced to tighten his belt then pays of politicians, generals, judges & senior bureaucrats should b halved & all perks withdrawn including free utilities.
— Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar (@mustafa_nawazk) June 2, 2022
On the other hand, the decision to cut back on expenditure to not burden the treasury is a welcoming decision. According to the norm, it is always the common man that has to suffer as a result of government failure while the ruling elite remains unaffected. However, by cutting back on perks and taking austerity measures, the government wants the public to know that it too will face the dire consequences of high petrol prices.