Opposition rejects increase in petroleum prices

Published September 17, 2021
A combination photo of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L) and PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb (R). — DawnNewsTV/File
A combination photo of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L) and PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb (R). — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties on Thursday rejected the increase in prices of petroleum products.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said in a statement that Prime Minister Imran Khan had robbed people by raising the petrol price to the highest level in the country’s history.

“Khan Sahib petrol price has risen by Rs5 per litre; will the nation witness the good days?” he asked.

“When the value of the dollar and the price of petrol are at the highest level in history, everything is out of reach of the people,” the PPP chief said.

He said those who came to power by lying about providing cheap petrol were defending it today despite the fact that the prices of petroleum products hit historic high. “Billions of rupees collected from the increase in prices of petroleum products will be squandered by this incapable PTI government,” he added.

Minister defends decision, says rates in Pakistan still cheapest in the region

In a statement, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb has asked the prime minister to start travelling on horses and bicycles instead of mocking the misery of people asking them to buy horses and bicycles.

She said the masses did not even have enough to feed their families and the arrogant, disconnected from reality Imran was suggesting them to buy horses. “The people of Pakistan do not have money to buy flour and sugar for their survival and Imran wants them to buy horses and bicycles,” she added.

“Imran is the most taxing and costly item for Pakistan which the country cannot afford. Please go back to where you came from and the PML-N will make sugar, flour, gas, medicines, electricity and petrol affordable for the people once again,” she said.

The PML-N leader said the prices of eatable and essential items had hit an all-time high while the country was under a historic debt with a record deficit. “All this is being done when the rupee saw record devaluation and the dollar jumped up beyond range,” she said.

Central vice president of the Awami National Party Amir Haider Khan Hoti said in a statement that the government had totally failed to provide relief to the masses, rather it compelled people to commit suicide. “Increasing oil prices is unfair with the people who have already faced price hike six times in three months,” he added.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan is befooling the nation as the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority every time suggested Rs10 per litre hike in petroleum prices while the prime minister approves increase of Rs5 to pretend that he had not followed its proposal,” Mr Hoti said, asking the government to withdraw the increase in oil prices.

On the other hand, federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry defended the hike and said the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan were still the lowest in the region.

He said in a tweet that oil had not been discovered in Pakistan over the past three years and, therefore, the country had to buy it at higher rates from the international market.

“Same rule applies to the other products that country imports. The real achievement is that the income of 75 per cent of the population has increased significantly,” he added.

The minister said that Pakistanis’ purchasing power was better than that of Indians. “Despite problems of the salaried class, 60pc of Pakistanis are associated with the agriculture sector who have an additional income of Rs1,100 billion,” he said, adding that the income of millions of people associated with the construction industry had also increased.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

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