The people of Pakistan, already grappling with inflation, were dealt another blow late Thursday evening as the government announced a substantial increase in petrol prices, pushing it to an all-time high of Rs305 per litre, effective immediately.
The surge amounted to an astounding Rs14.91 per litre, leaving citizens reeling from the economic impact.
In tandem with the petrol price hike, the cost of high-speed diesel (HSD) experienced an even steeper rise, escalating by Rs18.44, as disclosed by an official statement from the finance ministry. The government attributed these adjustments to the escalating trajectory of global petroleum prices and the resultant fluctuations in exchange rates.
In a statement released, the finance ministry underscored, “Owing to the increasing trend of petroleum prices in the international market and exchange rate variations, the Government has decided to revise the existing consumer prices of petroleum products.”
After the massive increase, the price of petrol has reached a record-high of Rs305.69 whereas the rates of HSD have reached 311.84 per litre.
The development comes as people across the country were already protesting the skyrocketing electricity bills amid a rising inflation in the country.
So far, the caretaker government has failed to come up with any solution. It is trying to avoid breaching the conditions of the IMF programme that require keeping the overall circular debt at Rs2.310 trillion and timely passing on the increase in electricity prices on account of annual, quarterly and monthly adjustments.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, earlier in the day while talking to journalists, had said that the matter of skyrocketing electricity bills is being discussed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adding that the government would fulfil its obligations to the global lender “at all costs”.
He said that the government has given proposals to the IMF, adding that inflation was not that a big issue to go on a strike.
“We will not make false promises nor would we deviate from our responsibilities. We will let everyone know the measures we cannot take and why,” he added.