- Reaction comes after latest hike in prices of petroleum products that was notified late on Thursday night
Opposition leaders have lashed out at the government for the rise in prices of petroleum products, saying this will increase inflation, Aaj News reported on Friday.
Opposition Leader and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that since the incumbent government has come to power, it has brought the entire nation to "the ration card".
He added that over the past three years, the price of edible oil has increased by over 130%.
The PML-N president added that the price of edible oil has gone up from Rs160 to Rs369 which is unjustified. Shehbaz stated that the hike in prices of petroleum products is proof that the government does not care about the poor-income groups.
"Increasing the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs8 per litre will also have a direct effect on prices of other items. It has become difficult for the common man to live," he said.
He said it was in the best interests of the entire nation and the masses that the prime minister "goes home instead of wreaking further havoc", adding that inflation, unemployment and "economic destruction" do not go away merely via allegations of corruption.
Similarly, PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman slammed the prime minister's decision of increasing the oil prices, saying the PM has failed to give relief to the people. “The prime minister is not giving relief but, in fact, he is asking for it,” she said.
She lamented that everything would get costlier with the hike in petroleum prices as weekly inflation index has already shot up to 14.31 percent. The senator demanded that the government withdraw the recent hike.
PPP information secretary Shazia Marri warned that if the government did not decrease prices, there would be such a reaction that the "government will not be able to survive".
She called on the people to be prepared as the PPP would soon announce plans for a protest. "The time for accountability has arrived," she said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Imran Khan is taking anti-people steps to fulfil IMF's agenda ... Imran Khan, who used to associate rising petrol prices with the thievery of the rulers, tell us, is the recent increase an acknowledgment of your thievery?" she questioned.
The government late Thursday night again increased the prices of petroleum products. The new price of petrol has been notified at Rs145.82 per litre, an increase of Rs8.03 from Rs137.79 earlier. Similarly, the price of high speed diesel price has been hiked to Rs142.62 per litre, an increase of Rs8.14 from Rs134.48.
Price of kerosene was increased by Rs6.27, which took the rate to Rs116.53, while light diesel oil is now at Rs114.07 after an upward revision of Rs5.72.
On November 1, the prime minister had not agreed to the proposals worked out by the finance ministry and OGRA, and decided to maintain the prices, read a notification issued by the finance division.
However, in his 'relief package' address, PM Imran Khan said that a price-increase in petroleum products was in the offing as the government was unable to take a hit on its revenue.
"I understand that inflation is a serious issue, but I want the media to put a balanced narrative. Is my government responsible for global inflation?
"In the past 3-4 months, oil prices have increased 100% globally but the increase in Pakistan is only 33%. I want to tell you that we will have to increase the oil prices in our country, otherwise our deficit will grow."