PM urges Chinese companies to benefit from Pakistan's investment opportunities

PM decides to cut fuel quota for cabinet members


ISLAMABAD: Following in the footsteps of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday decided to cut fuel quota for members of the cabinet.

The prime minister announced strict austerity measures a day after the federal government raised petrol prices by Rs 30 a litre.

According to Shehbaz Sharif’s proclamation, the number of duels given to cabinet members will be reduced, along with the decision to downsize the cabinet.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced petrol prices at Rs 30 a litre, paving the way for the resumption of the IMF programme. According to the new fuel prices, petrol is priced at Rs 209.86 per litre, high-speed diesel (HSD) at Rs 204.15 per litre, kerosene at Rs 181.94 and light diesel at Rs 178.31. Only the price of kerosene rose by less than Rs 30.

Mifta Ismail said the decision was made because of rising prices of petroleum products in the international market. Despite the sharp increase, the government is still taking losses, he said.

In addition, the government suffered losses of around Rs 91 billion due to subsidies for petroleum products as per the May 31 standard, the minister said.

However, since May 31, a further rise in the prices of petroleum products in the international market could push the losses to around Rs 13,000 crore and further burden the state coffers.

“We understand that this would bring inflation but I want to inform people that it was inevitable as I have to make agreement with IMF.” He said adding the decisions taken by former finance minister Shaukat Tarin in striking deal with IMF and later violating these had tied hands of the incumbent government.

The minister announced hike of Rs30 per liter petrol which would now be sold at 209.86 instead of Rs. Rs179.86 from June 3.

Likewise, the price of diesel has been enhanced by Rs.30 from Rs.174.15 to Rs.204.15; light diesel oil from Rs.148.31 to Rs.178.30, 30 percent increase whereas the prices of kerosene oil has been increased from Rs.155.56 to Rs.181.94, an increase Rs.26.38 per liter.

The minister said that despite all this prices-hike, the government was still bearing loss of Rs.9 at per liter petrol, Rs23 on high speed diesel and Rs.8 at light diesel oil. However, there was no loss on kerosene oil.

The minister said that the hike in petrol prices would definitely increase inflation, however the government had taken measures to reduce negative effects of inflation on poor people buy providing relief package.

In addition, the government would provide sugar at Rs70 and per kilogram; flour at Rs40 per kg throughout the year. This, he said, would help provide relief to the poor people. He said the government was already providing subsidy on ghee, rice and pulses.

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