Friday, May 27, 2022
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will announce a relief package for those who can’t afford the government's hike in fuel prices.
In a bid to restore the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to support the fragile economy, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced a massive hike in the price of petroleum products last night.
The decision was taken in light of the IMF guidelines as the global lender insisted removal of petroleum subsidies to revive the much-needed programme for Pakistan.
Speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, Miftah Ismail lambasted former prime minister Imran Khan for the agreement he had made with IMF.
“Imran Khan had promised IMF that Rs30 levy and 17% sales tax would be charged on petroleum products,” he said.
The finance minister said that due to the unilateral decision of Imran Khan to give subsidies on petrol, the government was bearing a loss of Rs120 billion per month.
“This was tough decision taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. But in today's address to the nation, he will announce a relief package for those who can’t afford high prices of fuel,” he added.
Miftah said that the government had already said that the IMF programme would not begin unless subsidies on petroleum products are abolished.
Because of the current decision to hike fuel prices, Miftah Ismail feared losing political capital and said, “honestly telling you, we have admitted that by deciding on hiking fuel prices, we will suffer politically but this is our country and will sacrifice to fix its issues.”
Ismail admitted that the current hike in petrol prices will shift the burden on the masses and increase inflation.
Rejecting any chance of defaulting, Miftah said, “I’m giving you a guarantee on two things: the IMF programme will be restored and Pakistan will not be going bankrupt”.