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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Fuel prices to remain unchanged

PM rejects OGRA summary

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday rejected the summary that suggested an increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The prime minister said that “people should not be punished for the incompetence, incompetence and mistakes of the previous government”. The current government, he said, is not going to impose any more burden on the people who are already facing high inflation. The prices of petroleum products will remain unchanged for the next 15 days.

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In the first press conference after coming to power, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that making petrol cheaper is not a favour, as at present the government is losing Rs51 per litre on diesel. He accused former Prime Minister Imran Khan of setting a trap for his successors by offering heavy subsidies on petroleum products. IMF has suggested discontinuing the subsidy on petrol, to which Miftah Ismail agreed upon.

“We can’t afford to give the subsidies that we’re giving. So we need to curtail these,” he said. The finance minister had also said that the subsidy on petrol in May and June would cost the government over Rs96 billion, which is a huge burden on the country’s economy. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif rejected the summary for 15 days. The government’s decision comes in the background of fluctuations in the world market, with the crude oil prices reaching the record highs as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. It is apparently playing to the gallery and trying not to antagonize a public already heavily burdened by the rising cost of everything from consumables to vehicles.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday said efforts are underway not to impose a further burden on the inflation-hit people. The minister said the government has prioritized relief for the citizens instead of passing on the impact of global inflationary pressures. The previous coalition government led by Imran Khan had committed the POL product price increase with International Monetary Fund (IMF) for getting loans, she claimed.

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The minister said “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has left for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. He will reach Madina Munawwara and this important visit will begin by offering prays for the progress and prosperity of the country and the nation.”

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