- Minister for Energy's remarks come after government increased petroleum products’ prices by Rs30 per litre
Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the government will further hike petroleum product rates before June 30.
“The next price hike is expected to be announced before June 30, because our public finances are in a dire state,” said Dastgir, while talking to Aaj News programme Rubaru with Shaukat Paracha on Sunday night.
The remarks come just days after the government increased petroleum products’ prices by Rs30 per litre in an effort to revive the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
The announcement was made by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail at a hurriedly-called press conference. He hopes that reaching an understanding on staff-level agreement with the IMF would now be easier as constructive discussion are being held with the Fund on the revival of the EFF.
The incumbent government remains committed to reviving the stalled $6-billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of the programme, which is crucial for the country facing a depleting a foreign exchange reserves while debt and import payments continue to mount.
After the decision, the new prices of pol products stood Rs179.86 per litre petrol, Rs174.15 per litre diesel, Rs155.56 per liter of kerosene oil, and Rs148.31 per litre light diesel.
Dastgir said that the decision of increasing petroleum product rates was crucial in order to curb the growing current account deficit. “It is with a very heavy heart that the decision was taken by the government, as we need to reduce our deficit”
“On a daily basis, millions of litres of petroleum are consumed, the government was incurring losses to the tune of Rs102 billion per month due to petroleum product subsidy. Therefore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after consulting his allied partners decided to reduce the subsidy and increase funding for the direct relief measures for the public,” said the minister.