Saturday, May 28, 2022
The coalition government took a "tough decision" this week when it raised the prices of petroleum products by Rs30 in a bid to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
Economic experts welcomed the government's decision to abolish the subsidies on petroleum products — imposed originally during PTI's tenure in May — and said it was "benefitting" the rich rather than the poor.
Despite this, the PTI is criticising the government for hiking the price of petroleum products and saying that it should have imported oil from Russia and provided petrol at a cheaper rate.
But even during PTI's tenure, when oil prices were rising in the international markets, the then-government had to increase the price of petroleum products.
However, for doing the same thing, PTI is criticising the incumbent government.
On February 16, 2022, former science and technology minister Shibli Faraz defended the petrol price hike and said that people should opt for consuming less fuel.
"I believe that these are the steps that are taken in tough times. When you do not have resources, you cannot subsidise a host of things," the ex-minister had said.
On February 15, 2022, ex-information minister Fawad Chaudhry said in light of the Russia-Ukraine war, the international oil prices had increased globally.
"We will have to increase the price of petrol [...] we do not have billions of rupees to put into it [subsidies]," the then-information minister had told a press conference.
On November 3, 2021, then-prime minister Imran Khan told the nation that the government would have to increase the price of petrol if it did not, and then the deficit would increase.
"This deficit is adding to the already existing loans on which we have to pay interest. So we will have to increase the price of petrol a bit," Khan had told the nation.
On October 16, 2021, then-interior minister Sheikh Rasheed said no ruler wants to increase petrol prices or liked it when the inflation increased.
But since the international prices are increasing, we also have to move up the rates, he told journalists.
On July 17, 2021, ex-energy minister Hammad Azhar said the government had slashed taxes on petroleum products, and it could not make oil prices cheaper.
"This is why we have shifted some burden on the people due to the increase of prices in the international market," he said while speaking on Geo News programme "Naya Pakistan".
On June 27, 2020, ex-petroleum minister Omar Ayub told the National Assembly that the government had kept the prices at lower rates than it originally bought it.
"Pakistan, at this time, is providing cheaper petrol as compared to other South Asian nations," he said.
On May 2, 2019, the then-minister for water resources claimed that people had told him that it would even buy petrol even if it is Rs200.
"This is the nation that strapped bombs onto itself and laid down before tanks," he told an event.