Netizens have taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their mixed emotion with memes on the sharp petrol price hike on Tuesday night.
In an unexpected move, the newly appointed caretaker government has announced a sharp escalation in the prices of petroleum products, sending shockwaves through the nation. This decision, coming merely two weeks after a prior increase, has deepened concerns about the soaring inflation rates in the country.
With a population of over 240 million already grappling with escalating living costs, the latest surge in fuel prices has added to the burden. Petrol prices have skyrocketed to an astounding Rs290 per litre, while high-speed diesel has reached an unprecedented peak at Rs293 per litre.
— Shahzaib Malik 🇵🇰 (@ShahzaibMalikPK) August 15, 2023
— Zohaib ✨ (@ZohaibA17795971) August 15, 2023
The swift announcement triggered a surge of reactions across social media platforms, particularly Twitter (now X), where individuals have expressed their exasperation and apprehensions about the repercussions of the price hike. Amid the distress, the platform has also seen a surge in humorous memes, offering a temporary reprieve from the prevailing economic strain.
As the cost of living continues to rise and wage growth remains sluggish, citizens are left pondering ways to navigate these tumultuous financial times.
— Danish Qamar (@DanishQ57715088) August 15, 2023
This latest escalation, closely following a similar hike imposed by the previous government on August 1st, has exacerbated economic uncertainties. In this short span of 15 days, fuel prices have surged by an astonishing Rs40 per litre, prompting a need for immediate mitigation strategies.
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The Ministry of Finance attributed this surge to the concurrent uptick in global petroleum prices over the past fortnight. While the pricing of kerosene and light diesel oil remained unchanged, high-speed diesel witnessed an unprecedented leap of Rs20 per litre, reaching an alarming Rs293.40.
The inflationary implications of these price hikes are far-reaching. High-speed diesel is a crucial element in heavy transport vehicles, trains, and agricultural machinery, directly influencing the cost of essential commodities, including vegetables. Similarly, the surge in petrol prices impacts private transport, rickshaws, and two-wheelers, directly impacting middle-class and lower-middle-class citizens.
July’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) reflects an inflation rate of 28.3%, showing marginal improvement compared to June’s 29.4% and the record-high 38% in May. Nevertheless, the figures continue to be alarmingly high, especially when considering the base effect.
In the midst of these challenging circumstances, citizens are grappling with the sudden and substantial financial burden. With petrol and high-speed diesel being vital revenue streams for the government, the impact of these price hikes extends beyond fuel pumps, affecting various facets of the economy.