RAWALPINDI: In the wake of significant increase in petroleum prices, the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, especially the salaried class, are finding it difficult to manage their household budget.
They have urged the PTI government to withdraw the decision in the larger public interest. The government on Wednesday announced 4.5 to 10pc hike in petroleum prices.
The people feared that the recent surge in oil prices would result in increased prices of daily use food commodities and other products besides transport fares.
Mohammad Suleman, a government employee, said that he had limited salary and it would be difficult for him to manage the household budget. He said that the prices of the edibles had increased manifold, but they were getting the same salaries.
He said that new taxes had made people’s lives miserable and they had to do two jobs to meet their expenses. He said that he was planning to open a shop in his street, but he did not have enough money.
Shahid Raja, a schoolteacher, said that the unprecedented price hike would affect quality of life of the common man.
He said that the prices of wheat flour, vegetable and meat were already high. He said that they feared a wave of inflation in the coming days.
Arslan Ali, an employee of a private firm, said that the increase in petroleum prices had also affected his budget.
“My salary has not been increased during the last one year, but the prices of various commodities have gone up manifold, making it difficult for me to manage things,” he said. He added that the government had already increased the electricity and gas tariffs.
“Instead of increasing the oil prices, the rulers should cut their own expenditures through austerity,” he said.
Talking to this scribe, some of the traders also urged the government to withdraw the increase in oil prices.
“The PTI government has failed to run the country’s affairs and its economic policies have exposed its hollow claims to stabilise the economy,” said Traders Association, Punjab chapter, President Sharjeel Mir.
He said that the cost of doing business had increased and they were receiving fewer customers than past. He said that all the transporters had increased their fares immediately and the traders had to pass on the price hike to the consumers.
Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Malik Shahid Saleem said that the exorbitant raise in POL prices would unleash a storm of inflation in the country and demanded of the government to withdraw the decision.
Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2019