ISLAMABAD: The PML-N-led coalition government on Saturday was also indecisive about the fortnightly fuel price hike, which was supposed to be announced on Thursday midnight but is now likely to be done on Sunday (today), sources said.
Based on calculations by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), diesel prices should have come down by around Rs2 per liter and petrol prices by Rs7.
The nearly two-day delay has fueled rumors that the government is facilitating petroleum dealers to sell their existing stocks bought at higher rates in the last fortnight.
However, petroleum distributors dismissed the impression. “Petrol stations do not maintain huge inventories and fluctuations in prices are part of the business cycle,” said Abdul Sami Khan, president of the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association. wake up.
If the filling station owner goes dry even for a day and waits for the price to drop, customers may move elsewhere, he said.
But, he said, the government is completely confused, fearing that if prices fall in the next fortnight and the rupee continues to depreciate, it will be extremely difficult to announce a huge hike after 15 days.
“So, I think the prices will be maintained for this fortnight,” the PPDA chairman said, adding that hikes in the next fortnight would also have political implications.
Meanwhile, after appearing in court in Lahore on September 15, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz rejected the idea of raising oil prices and criticized the government led by her uncle Shehbaz Sharif for exorbitant electricity bills.
“Even if it is our government, I do not support the decision to increase oil prices. The electricity bill has also put a heavy financial burden on the masses. I request the Prime Minister and Finance Minister to review this decision,” he said.
He made a similar comment last month when he tweeted a message on behalf of his father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on August 16 after the government hiked fuel prices: “Mian Sahib strongly opposed this decision. “I will not burden people by paying one more penny,” he said.
Read: Mifta on the defensive after the PML-N supremo ‘strongly opposed’ petrol price hike
He was responding to a tweet requesting a user to speak to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to address the price hike.
In a reply to the tweet, her father emphasized that he is not on board, but if the government adheres to certain restrictions, it should go ahead with the hike.
Ms Nawaz said her father rejected the government’s fuel hike decision and left the party meeting.
A similar statement was made by PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari in a tweet distancing his party from the Shehbaz Sharif government’s decision to increase the prices of petroleum products.
Dawn, Published on September 18, 2022