Govt defends whopping POL price hike as ‘lowest in region’
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers heavily criticised the government on Saturday over a recent hike in petrol prices, among other national issues, during a session of the National Assembly.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved a recommendation to hike up the prices of petroleum products, after which petrol prices rose by Rs25.58 per litre.
In Saturday’s session of the Lower House of the parliament, PML-N MNA Khurram Dastgir said that in the history of the country, petrol prices were never increased by 34%.
“The government is becoming a facilitator of mafias,” he criticized, saying that he can sense that the government benches are in a state of ‘fear’.
Describing other national issues, the PML-N lawmaker said that the culprits of the Sahiwal incident, where members of a family were killed in cold blood, did not receive any punishment.
Speaking on the issue of the sugar crisis, he said that the Federal Investigation Agency said that the prices of sugar rose after permission for exports was granted.
FIA should
investigate ‘mafia’
behind petrol crisis
PPP lawmaker Abdul Qadir Patel addressed the House, saying that the FIA should probe who hoarded up petrol reserves, which exacerbated the national fuel crisis.
“The FIA should investigate who is behind this mafia and who is getting a cut out of it,” he said.
Will mirror
trends in global
oil market: Omar Ayub
Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub addressed the NA, saying that the government will mirror the trend in the global oil market.
He said that the previous governments were the ones who ‘protected’ a mafia, adding that the current government only tried to benefit the public.
“Today Imran Khan says to hold an investigation and take these people to task,” said the minister before the House.
He said that the petroleum prices’ hike in Pakistan is the lowest in South Asia.
Later, Omar Ayub Khan on Saturday defended the government's decision to increase the price of all petroleum products in the country, saying that it had tried to provide relief to the people amid rising international prices.
Addressing a press conference with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Division Nadeem Babar, he said that prices in the international market had risen by 112 per cent over the last 40 days.
In a sudden move on Friday evening, the government had increased the prices of all petroleum products by up to nearly Rs26 to share the impact of rising international prices with the consumers.
The price of petrol (motor spirit) was raised by a whopping Rs25.58 to Rs100.10 per litre from the existing Rs74.52, an increase of 25.6 per cent.
During the press conference, Babar explained that the government set the prices of petroleum products on the basis of Pakistan State Oil's (PSO) monthly average. Like other government functionaries, he highlighted that Pakistan had the lowest prices among South and Southeast Asian countries.
"The price of petrol is Rs180 in India, Rs108 in Indonesia, Rs153 in the Philippines, Rs159 in Thailand and Rs196 in Japan," he said, adding that the government had continued passing on the effects of falling prices to the public.