Opposition slams government on petrol price hike

Opposition parties lashed out against the government on Saturday after yet another increase in the prices of petroleum products.

Petroleum prices in the country hit the highest-ever mark yesterday after the government announced a four per cent increase in oil prices for the month of June.

The adjustment was made even though the international crude market price is at $67 per barrel, which is almost half of the 2008 highest record of $147 when retail prices stood below Rs80 per litre.

An official had earlier told Dawn that the crude price had dropped by 7pc in the Arabian Gulf Market — the source of Pakistani imports — over the last month from $72 on April 28 to $67 per barrel on May 29, but the currency devaluation caused the major negative impact.

PP Vice President Sherry Rehman, in a statement today, condemned the rise in rates and said: “The failed government has given nothing [to the country] except inflation and unemployment in the past nine months. The revolutionary administration has increased oil prices by Rs20 within nine months.”

She pointed out that petroleum prices have decreased by 3pc globally yet the government had announced an increase. Noting that the rise comes days before the budget, she asked if the step was taken on the directions of the International Monetary Fund.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif termed the price hike as “economic terrorism” and regretted that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government had dropped a “petrol bomb on the public instead of providing them relief” right before Eidul Fitr.

“Imran Niazi’s ‘Naya Pakistan’ has taken this country on the cusp of economic crisis,” he said.

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