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Pakistan

Govt fully aware of inflation's impact on poor: PM Imran

  • Says govt bearing burden of Rs450 billion to reduce negative effect of rising prices
Updated 05 Nov, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the whole world, including Pakistan, is facing higher prices after the Covid-19 pandemic and the government is fully cognisant of the impact of inflation on the poor.

Addressing a ceremony after performing the groundbreaking of a mother and child hospital in Attock on Friday, Khan said that the government is making all-out efforts to provide relief to the people, especially those living in far-flung and remote areas.

His statement comes as prices of petroleum products were hiked late on Thursday night with the rates witnessing an increase of up to Rs8.14. The new price of petrol was notified at Rs145.82 per litre, while high speed diesel price was hiked to Rs142.62.

Prices of petroleum products increased again

"The government is bearing the burden of Rs450 billion to lessen the impact of inflation on the poor," said Khan.

Soaring sugar price

Regarding soaring sugar prices in Pakistan, the premier said Sindh shut down three mills which contributed to the hike in the price of the commodity. "The price of sugar in Pakistan has hit Rs140 per kg. I inquired why this was so. I learned that three sugar mills in Sindh which were operational were shut down," the prime minister said.

He said that when sugarcane crushing season begins in Pakistan, sugarcane is first taken to sugar mills from Sindh and then later from Punjab. He said that when the three sugar mills in Sindh shut down, there was a sudden drop in supply and prices rose to Rs140 per kg.

Taking a jibe at the PML-N and PPP, the PM said two families have looted the country's wealth and made fortunes for themselves.

'Oil prices cheapest in Pakistan'

Speaking about the current rise in prices of petroleum products, he said that there was uproar in India as well over high petrol prices and Pakistan still had the cheapest petrol prices in the region.

"In India today, there is uproar as well [over petrol prices] and the petrol price per litre is Rs150 while it is Rs200 in Bangladesh. On the other hand, it is the lowest in Pakistan at Rs146," he said.

Khan said that among the oil-importing countries, Pakistan had the lowest prices for petrol and diesel. The prime minister explained this was possible because the government had reduced its taxes and levies.

Health cards

About the provision of facilities, Khan said the government will soon launch health cards in Punjab to provide quality healthcare to poor families.

Targeted subsidy: PM Imran announces Rs120-billion relief package

He said a 30 percent subsidy will be provided to the needy on flour, pulses, and ghee under the Ehsaas Subsidy Programme.

The prime minister said interest-free loans will be provided to 2 million families under the Kamyab Pakistan Programme. These loans will be issued for the construction of houses, small businesses, and agriculture to small farmers.

Economic deficit

Regarding the country's economic situation, Khan said PTI inherited an economic deficit when it came into the power after 2018 General Elections.

He highlighted that Pakistan heavily relies on imports and international price hikes affect the country.

"The PTI government helped the economy recover after coming into power and successfully brought the trade deficit to $1 billion as compared to $20 billion," he said.

PM's relief package

On Wednesday, PM Imran announced a Rs120-billion programme that would see subsidised rates on ghee, pulses, and wheat flour.

"This programme has been designed for 20 million eligible families, which translates to 130 million people.

"For the next six months, 30 percent discount would be given on these three food items."

Comments

Comments are closed.

Mohsin Abbas Nov 06, 2021 01:18am
Now we realize that maintaining Dollar rate artificially and injecting $2-3 billions is so important to keep in control all the inflation and prices of essential commodities. All of this inflation and economic turbulence is only because our Rupee devalued from Rs 105 to Rs 171 in just last three years. We also learn from IK that increase of commodities prices are not from corruption but because of international price adjustments.
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