Pakistan increases petrol prices: As Pakistan grapples with the worst-ever economic turbulence-- with inflation and unemployment rate touching a record high-- the government has now announced to increase the oil prices by a "minimum" of Rs 35 per litre. According to the latest announcement, the price of petrol was increased by Rs 35, diesel and kerosene by Rs 18. The major development came a day after Dar said that Pakistan is the only country founded in the name of Islam and "Allah is responsible for its development and prosperity".
While addressing the nation in a video message, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday morning said that the increase in prices came nearly after four months and added that the government has decided to hike a "minimum" of Rs 35 per litre on petrol. With the latest announcement, prices of petrol in Pakistan stood at Rs 249.80 per litre, high-speed diesel-- Rs 262.80 per litre, kerosene oil-- Rs 189.83 per litre, and light diesel oil at Rs 187 per litre.
Finance Minister calls it a "minimum increase"
During the address, the Pakistani English daily, Dawn, reported that the minister refuted the so-called intelligence and media reports which had speculated that the prices would be increased by a minimum of Rs 50 per litre. “Because of this, we have received reports of artificial shortages in the market. The Pakistani rupee saw devaluation last week […] and now we are seeing an 11 per cent increase in the prices of petroleum products in the international market,” Dawn quoted the minister as saying during the video address.
“Despite international prices and rupee devaluation, on directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, we have decided to increase the minimum price of these four products," he added.
No petrol in Pakistan!
It is worth mentioning that the country has been reeling under the worst-ever economic turbulence. Earlier on Wednesday, multiple local media reports claimed the citizens were struggling hard to get fuel in their vehicles. According to a report by Dawn, long queues were seen at several petrol pumps. Speaking to the media, people who were waiting in the queue, said that the wait time at the fuelling stations was more than an hour.
According to reports, Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was the most affected cities as oil marketing companies reduced their import. "I had to wait for around half an hour to fuel up at a GT Road petrol pump," he said, as quoted by Dawn newspaper. At least 20 more lined up there, he said.
The motorcyclist said the wait at a filling station in the Faqirabad area lasted around 50 minutes. Large-scale closure of petrol pumps was reported in the Mansehra district due to petrol shortage. The Khyber PakhtunkhwaCNG administration on December 31 closed all CNG stations in the provincial capital for a month to ensure the supply of natural gas to domestic consumers.
The News International this week reported that the gas crisis in Pakistan is set to worsen in February as ENI, a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trading company in Pakistan, has backed out of the LNG cargo which was scheduled to arrive on February 6-7, 2023, a senior official of the Energy Ministry confirmed.
Pakistan economic crisis
It is worth mentioning that the country has been reeling under the worst economic crisis following a three-month flood that washed away nearly all major crops in the country. However, the situation was not "alright" for Pakistan even before the natural disaster hit the nation. According to multiple local media reports, edible oil was sold at Rs 600 per litre even in the first week of August and ghee at nearly Rs 700 per litre. The situation turned grimmer after the deadly floods, wherein more than 2,000 people were killed and thousands went missing. In December, local media reported that the cost of cooking gas rose to Rs 1,200 per kg near Afgan border regions while the cost of flour went up to Rs 160-170 per kg.
Also Read: No petrol in Pakistan! Long queue at fuel stations amid economic turbulence: Reports