Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has announced the government’s decision to raise petrol prices by an additional Rs 24 — following two initial Rs 30 price hikes, bringing the essential commodity to a whopping Rs 233.89 per litre.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, Miftah Ismail said that the new prices will be implemented from midnight onwards.
As a result of this third price hike, the cost of petrol will increase by Rs24.03 and soar to Rs233.89, and diesel will be sold at Rs263.31 — up by Rs16.31. Meanwhile, kerosene oil’s new price will be Rs211.43 following a Rs29.49 surge and light diesel’s price will be Rs 207.47 after an increase of Rs29.16.
He said “We know this will result in inflation, and people will face difficulties, but we had no other choice, we were forced to do this due to the international rise in prices,” adding that the international price of petrol was $120 per barrel.
In the last 20 days, the price of petrol has gone up by more than Rs 84 per litre.
“Our country is still facing a loss of Rs24.03 in petrol, Rs59.16 in diesel, Rs29.49 in kerosene oil and Rs29.16 in light diesel oil,” he said.
The finance minister said the government was paying Rs 120 billion on petrol subsidies, and that this was the worst case of inflation he had seen in the past 30 years.
He blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson and former prime minister Imran Khan for steering the country towards ‘damage and ruin’ through his ‘poorly thought out’ policies, and said that the government was bound to the agreements made by the PTI government with the IMF.
“We have taken difficult decisions before and we will take in the future as well to protect the country from financial difficulties,” the minister said, adding that the only other alternative to raising prices was ‘ruin’ and the incumbent government would not let that happen.