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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday announced the slashing of petrol price by Rs18.50 per litre as part of measures to ease the burden on the masses.

He also announced reducing the price of diesel by Rs40.54 per litre. The rates go into effect from July 15.

In his address, the premier said that after coming to power, the government had increased the price of petrol to meet the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The premier said that his government had inherited a troubled economy. "The previous government trampled on the agreement it had with the IMF and laid landmines for us," he said.

PM Shehbaz indicated that the benefit of any further decline in international oil price will also be passed to the public.

Earlier on Thursday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the government will slash domestic petrol prices before midnight, adding that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had received a summary from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) recommending the cut.

Speaking to the media, he stressed that the IMF had no objections to the government’s move.

The decision to cut the prices of petroleum products comes as international oil prices have dropped significantly over the past few days.

Oil prices fell on Thursday as investors focused on the prospect of a large US rate hike that could stem inflation but at the same time hit oil demand.

Brent crude futures for September were down $1.86 cents to $97.71 a barrel at 1016 GMT after settling below $100 for a second straight session on Wednesday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery was at $94.01 a barrel, down $2.29 cents.

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