Finance Minister Miftah Ismail is receiving flak on social media for reportedly saying that rich people use petrol and diesel. His statements come as the public buckles under inflationary pressure due to the recent increase in petroleum prices.
Last week, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced the increase in the price of petroleum products after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasized abolishing the subsidies on commodities.
The prices of petroleum products are now: Petrol at Rs179.86 per; High-Speed Diesel at Rs174.15 per liter; kerosene oil at Rs155.56 per liter; and light diesel oil at Rs148.31 per liter.
However, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has reportedly said that rich people mostly use petrol and diesel. His statement, which netizens consider in poor taste, has resulted in intense backlash. They called out the minister for being ignorant and allegedly taking a jibe at lower-income families.
پٹرول، ڈیزل زیادہ تر امیر افراد استعمال کرتے ہیں، مفتاح اسماعیل
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) June 1, 2022
“Yes, poor people use petrol and diesel to only set them on fire,” one Twitterati wrote.
“Bread is also eaten by rich people, poor people are living by tying stones on their stomachs,” another Twitterati sarcastically said.
روٹی بھی صرف امیر لوگ کھاتے ھیں غریب تو پیٹ پر پتھر باندھ کر جی رھا ھیں۔
— Warsak🇵🇰 (@Amjadkhan005) June 1, 2022
Inflation in Pakistan
Currently, prices of basic commodities have been skyrocketing in Pakistan. Last week, the government first raised the petroleum product rates by Rs30 per liter. After the increase in fuel prices, rates of flour were also raised.
According to a notification issued by the USC, Rs 9 per kilogram has been raised on flour, resulting in a hike of Rs. 90 on a 10 kilograms bag and Rs. 180 on a 20-Kg bag. A 20-Kg bag that was previously being sold at Rs. 800 will now cost Rs 980 while a 10-kg bag will cost Rs. 490, contrary to Rs. 400 previously. The government even directed regional accounts officers to visit warehouses and ensure the implementation of prices in the utility stores.
Wednesday, the government has raised the prices of ghee and cooking oil by an unprecedented Rs208 and Rs213 respectively. After the massive increase, the price has reached an all-time high of Rs555 per kg for ghee and Rs605 per litre for cooking oil. The price of the quality cooking oil brands of five-litre tin has also jumped from Rs 2,105 to Rs2,655 while prices of other cooking oil brands also jacked up amid soaring inflation. The maximum rate of ghee and cooking of renowned brands in the retail markets still hovers between Rs540-560 per kg/litre.