- Fawad Chaudhry, however, says prices in Pakistan are still lowest in the region
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticised the latest increase in the prices of petroleum products, saying the government is robbing its people.
In a tweet on Thursday, Bilawal said the incumbent rulers have taken petrol prices to a record high in the country. “The entire nation is crying due to record inflation,” said the PPP chairman.
Bilawal's statement comes as the federal government Wednesday announced a massive increase – up to Rs5.92 per litre - in the ex-depot prices of all petroleum products with effect from September 16.
On Wednesday, the Finance Division stated, “owing to the fluctuation in petroleum price in the international market and exchange rate variation, the price of petroleum products raised.”
In a fortnightly review of petroleum products for the second half of September, the price of petrol has been increased by Rs5.00 per litre.
The new price of petrol is Rs123.30 per litre, which was Rs118.30 per litre or a 4.2 percent increase.
Bilawal stated that the PTI had made tall claims of relief after the budget. "When will the good days come for the nation?", he asked.
He said that when dollar and petrol will be at their highest, all things will be out of reach of the people.
The rupee also hit a record low this week, having lost over 10% of its value since May 2021, as a widening import bill took toll on the currency.
The depreciation comes in tandem with the increase in petrol prices -- Pakistan is heavily dependent on oil imports to meet its domestic needs -- that were increased by as much as Rs5.92 on Wednesday night.
Oil prices lowest in Pakistan
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said oil prices in the country are still the lowest in the region.
He maintained that oil wells have not been drilled in three years, so when it comes to buying oil from other countries, prices will be high. The same principle applies to other imports, he stated.
Fawad said Pakistan’s purchasing power is better than India’s. "However, the problems of the salaried class cannot be ignored and 60 percent of the population is associated with agriculture and they had received a Rs1,100 billion raise in their salaries."
He claimed that the salaries in industry and development sector as well and the wages of masons and labourers had tripled.