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After hiking rates of petroleum products, the government has raised flour prices by Rs180, a move that could fuel inflation further.

As per a notification issued by the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan, a 20kg bag will now be available at Rs980 as compared to the previous price of Rs800, an increase of Rs180.

Meanwhile, the price of a 10kg flour bag has jumped up to Rs490 per bag as compared to the previous rate of Rs400, registering a hike of Rs90.

The flour price hike follows the government's earlier announcement to increase petroleum products’ prices by Rs30 per litre in an effort to revive the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The increase in petroleum prices was announced by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail at a hurriedly called press conference. He expressed the hope that reaching an understanding on staff-level agreement with the IMF would be easier as constructive discussions are being held with the Fund on revival of the $6 billion Extended Fund Faiclity (EFF) programme.

Analysts have regularly pointed out that the resumption of the IMF programme is crucial for the South Asian country facing a bulging current account deficit amid a spike in the import bill. However, they have also warned that the move could spike up inflation.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government last week reduced the rate of 10kg of flour from Rs650 to Rs490, as part of its provincial government relief package

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