On Tuesday morning, the federal government took a significant step in line with its commitments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by announcing a substantial increase in the price of petroleum products. The decision, which took immediate effect, was presented by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during a televised address earlier today. As per the revised rates, the price of petrol has been raised by Rs. 19.95 per liter, while the price of hi-speed diesel (HSD) has been increased by Rs. 19.90 per liter.
This increase means that the new price of petrol will stand at Rs. 272.95 per liter, and HSD will cost Rs. 273.40 per liter. Originally, the government was supposed to announce the new rates on July 31. However, they delayed the announcement as officials carefully considered the potential impact of the price hike on people already struggling with inflation.
According to the finance minister, the international market’s prices for HSD and MS (petrol) had surged over the previous 15 days. The government reviewed the functioning of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) until late at night to explore any possibilities of reducing the rates or easing the burden on the citizens.
Minister Dar emphasized that for the sake of the country’s interests, a calculated minimum increase had to be implemented. As a result, the price of HSD was raised by Rs. 19.90, bringing the new price to Rs. 273.40. Additionally, the price of petrol saw an increase of Rs. 19.95, reaching Rs. 272.75 per liter.
He also pointed out the international commitments Pakistan has made with the IMF concerning the petroleum levy. Had these commitments not been in place, the government would have opted for a smaller increase. However, given the standby agreement with the IMF, a more substantial increase was necessary to fulfill the obligations.
The decision to increase fuel prices is a response to the economic challenges faced by the country. While it may lead to short-term difficulties for citizens, the government believes it is essential to stabilize the economy and meet the commitments made to international financial institutions.
The surge in fuel prices may impact transportation costs, daily expenses, and overall inflation rates. As a measure to offset the impact on the most vulnerable sections of society, the government may consider implementing targeted subsidies or other support mechanisms.
The government’s decision to raise the price of petrol and HSD is a calculated move to tackle economic challenges and fulfill international obligations. While it may be met with initial resistance due to the burden it places on citizens, the government believes it will contribute to long-term economic stability and growth. As the situation unfolds, it is essential for the government to remain vigilant and responsive to the needs of the people.