After four hikes, and massive criticism, Pakistan announces fuel price cut

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says recent reduction in global oil prices allow for the benefit to be passed on to the population.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 15 Jul 2022, 12:12 PM
File image used for representational purpose.
File image used for representational purpose.
File image used for representational purpose.
File image used for representational purpose.

The Pakistan government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced a substantial cut in prices of petrol and diesel rates in the country. The decision to cut petrol and diesel rates comes after the rates were previously hiked four times in recent months, leading to massive outrage among people at large and criticism from political rivals.

The decision to slash prices has led to a fall by PKR 18.50 (approximately 7) in per litre rate of petrol and by PKR 40.54 (approximately 15.40) for each litre of diesel. With the cut announcement, Sharif also took on the previous government that was under Imran Khan and said that the previous party in power had managed to keep fuel prices down at the cost of government coffers. “This was done so our government would fall into difficulties. With a heavy heart, and due to rising oil prices in the international market, we increased (fuel) prices," he explained. “However, today with God's blessing, oil prices are declining in global markets and it is by his mercy that today we have got the chance to reduce the prices."

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Global crude oil prices have been climbing in recent months, a problem heightened by the still-raging Russia-Ukraine conflict. But in recent weeks, global prices have come down and this is the benefit Sharif was referring to.

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It isn't entirely surprising that Sharif has had to defend previous decisions to hike fuel prices because each of these decisions were met with furious backlash from political rivals and the public. At a time when Pakistan's economy continues to be in shambles, revenue earned from fuel forms an important part of government earnings even though it may result in creating inflationary pressures.

First Published Date: 15 Jul 2022, 12:12 PM IST
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