Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced on Wednesday that the government has decided to further increase the price of petrol by Rs 24 per liter – the third such increase within the last 20 days.
The new prices will come into effect from midnight tonight, the minister said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
In the latest round of hike, the price of petrol will be increased by Rs 24.03 to Rs 233.89, and diesel will be sold at Rs 263.31 – Rs 16.31. Meanwhile, the new price of kerosene will be Rs 211.43 after an increase of Rs 29.49 and that of light diesel will be Rs 207.47 after an increase of Rs 29.16.
Ismail said the government has no option but to pass on the impact of international prices to consumers in Pakistan.
The government has increased the price of petrol by more than Rs 84 per liter in the last 20 days.
Explaining the reasons for another hike in the prices of petroleum products, the minister said that the international price of petrol was $120 per litre.
He said in the press conference, our country is still suffering a loss of Rs 24.03 in petrol, Rs 59.16 in diesel, Rs 29.49 in kerosene and Rs 29.16 in light diesel oil.
He said that the government is spending Rs 120 billion on petrol subsidy. “I have been watching the condition of the country for 30 years, but I have never seen such a situation in terms of inflation.”
He also blamed former Prime Minister Imran Khan for devising policies that “damaged” the national economy.
Ismail said the government is bound by the agreements made by the PTI government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He acknowledged that the middle class would be hurt by the hike in petrol prices, adding that the government would take measures to limit the impact on the most vulnerable.
“We have taken difficult decisions in the past and we will take them in future also to save the country from financial difficulties,” the minister said.
Ismail said that the government will not bear any further loss in the sale of petrol as the latest hike has brought the price of the fuel at par with international rates.
Minister of State for Petroleum Musadiq Malik said the government discussed in detail before announcing the latest hike.
“This decision has been taken because we import 9 million tonnes of oil and 8.8 million tonnes of diesel every year and if we do not increase the price, the government will have to bear a loss of more than Rs 100 billion every month.”
“The government accepts responsibility for its measures and through tough decisions will pave a new way forward for the country,” Malik said.
Responding to a question, Miftah said Pakistan could not control the Ukraine-Russia war and its impact on international fuel prices.
“We will be able to control fuel prices only when our difficult period is over and the country’s relations with global financial institutions improve,” he said.