The government on Thursday night increased petroleum prices by up to Rs8.14 per liter with immediate effect to ensure the revival of the IMF program.
On the basis of tax rates, import parity price, and exchange rate, the government increased the price of petrol and high-speed diesel by Rs8.03 and Rs8.14 per liter, respectively. Similarly, the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil were increased by Rs6.27 and Rs5.72 per liter, respectively.
The decision was announced after 1:30 am [Friday] by the ministry of finance. The hike comes in wake of PM Khan’s announcement of increasing the petrol prices.
PM Imran Khan while announcing the “country’s biggest ever” subsidy package said the government will have to increase petrol prices.
The prime minister said no doubt the inflation was an issue but instead of merely criticizing like opposition, the media should also teach the people about the worldwide inflation.
Quoting the Bloomberg Commodity Price Index, the prime minister said commodities’ prices grew by 50% in a year against just 9% in Pakistan.
He said Turkey, the US, China, and Germany had been facing the highest inflation. The gas prices surged by 116% in the US, 300% in Europe but Pakistan had made no increase except for the one being imported.
He said oil prices in the global market had increased by 100% but Pakistan shifted only 33% of the burden. Even in India oil prices surged to Rs 250, Bangladesh 200 while it was yet at Rs138 in Pakistan.
The government avoided shifting the burden from the masses which otherwise could bring in additional Rs 450 billion revenue to the government.
However, the prime minister said the government would have to increase the oil prices which otherwise would lead to swelling the deficit.
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Govt. offers 30% discount on food
Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday announced “country’s biggest ever” subsidy package worth Rs 120 billion providing a 30% discount on ghee, flour, and pulses to support 130 million people by ebbing away from the impact of inflation.
The prime minister, in his televised address to the nation, said 20 million families would benefit from the subsidy package to be funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments.
Under the package, the beneficiaries would avail of a 30% discount on the said three food commodities for the next six months.
He said the subsidy package was apart from the ongoing different programs under Ehsaas Initiative worth Rs 260 billion affecting 120 million families.
The prime minister particularly thanked the Ehsaas team for compiling the national database of households to enable the government to provide direct subsidies to the entitled families.
The prime minister also announced Rs 1400 billion for Kamyab Pakistan Program aimed at providing interest-free business loans to the entitled four million families.
The package consists of interest-free loans for house construction, Rs 0.5 million each loan for farmers and businesses besides skill training to a member of the entitled family.
He said under Kamyab Jawan Program had so far given Rs 30 billion loans to 22,000 businesses. The program also featured a program to provide six million scholarships and stipends to the students.
Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry wrote that Imran Khan’s historic relief package will address the problems faced by the Pakistanis.
“This package will be a milestone in reducing the hardships of the people and making their lives easier,” he added.