The impact of hike in petroleum products’ prices became visible soon after the announcement as citizens across the country on Friday expressed their anger, saying it was a robbery in their pockets.
The federal government on Thursday night decided to increase the petroleum prices, terming it inevitable for the sustainability of the national economy. The finance minister announced the new prices of petroleum prices, according to which the new rate of petrol, diesel and light diesel was increased by Rs30 per litre. A great rush was observed at petrol pumps soon after the announcement of the finance minister where citizens had to wait in long queues to save a few hundred rupees.
According to media reports, citizens in Karachi staged a protest against the administration of a petrol pump near Purani Sabzi Mandi as they shut it, saying petrol was not available. After scuffling with the pump administration, the angry protestors vandalized petrol pumps. The citizens also pelted stones at petrol pumps in many areas. The increase in POL prices has caused a surge in the prices of all essential commodities, making life harder for the poor and even the middle class.
Using the hike in POL prices as an excuse, chakki aata association announced another increase in flour price, which is now being sold for Rs95 per kilogram. Earlier, on Monday, it increased the price from Rs90 to Rs93 per kg. Flour millers have already announced an increase in the prices of their products despite the government’s restrictions. Meanwhile, the city’s naanbai association announced an increase in the prices of bread. After the announcement, the price of one bread (roti) has risen to Rs12 with the increase of two rupees while the price of one naan has increased to Rs20.
The price of cooking oil and ghee prices observed another hike in retail shops. The day before yesterday ghee manufacturers announced a big increase in their products. However, retailers were observed charging over prices. Meanwhile, the milk sellers of the city also have announced to increase the prices of their products by up to 20 percent. They claimed that the transportation cost of milk has increased up to 25 percent and amid the situation, they have no other option left with them.
Scuffles between retailers and customers were observed at many places in the city. Many citizens complained about the hike by shopkeepers. A large number of rickshaw drivers staged protests at Liberty Roundabout against the surge in fuel prices. They criticized that the rulers have been exposed as they don’t have any agenda to pull the poor masses out of poverty. “The rising inflation has hit low-income people and daily wage earners hard, and has pushed many people in this category under the poverty line,” said the leaders of rikshaw union. On other hand, the gravediggers in the city’s graveyards also have increased their charges by up to Rs1,000 for digging one grave.