ISLAMABAD: Reacting to the widespread condemnation and criticism of the government over the recent major increase in the prices of petroleum products, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the entire country could not be run on subsidies.
A day earlier, the PTI-led government had announced a major price hike in petroleum products, increasing the per litre cost of petrol by Rs10.49 and high-speed diesel by Rs12.44 for the next fortnight.
In a statement, Fawad Chaudhry said that the fuel rates were raised due to an increase in international market prices. The oil prices in the country are linked with international prices, he said, explaining that the prices will fall in the country when the commodity’s rates will decrease in the world market.
“These economic difficulties are temporary,” he added. The information minister said that the nation will face the difficulties together.
“The government is being criticised over the oil price hike as if we live on a separate planet,” said the information minister.
Admitting the difficulties faced by salaried persons, Chaudhry stressed on the need for the private sector to increase the salaries of their employees.
“An increase in income and jobs is the solution to this inflation,” said Fawad Chaudhry, adding that the industry, agriculture, and construction sectors are making historic profits.
PTI govt drops petrol bomb
On Saturday, the government had announced a major price hike in petroleum products, increasing the per litre cost of petrol by Rs10.49 and high-speed diesel by Rs12.44 for the next fortnight.
The increase in POL products was notified a day after the government hiked the power tariff by Rs1.39 per unit, which will come into effect from next month.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, the price of kerosene oil had been increased by Rs10.95 per litre, while light speed diesel had got costlier by Rs8.84 per litre.
“At present, oil prices have risen around $85 a barrel (Global Benchmark Brent), which is the highest since October, 2018,” read the finance ministry notification.
It had added that entire energy chain’s prices had witnessed a strong surge in the last couple of months due to higher demand for energy spots and supply bottlenecks.