Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday announced that the federal government has decided to raise the prices of all petroleum products barring one by another Rs30 — just a week after making a similar increase.
The new prices will come into effect from midnight tonight, the minister said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
After the latest round of hikes, petrol will be priced at Rs209.86, diesel at Rs204.15, kerosene oil at Rs181.94 and light diesel at Rs178.31. Only kerosene oil's price was hiked by less than Rs30.
"The government is still facing a loss of around Rs9 in petrol despite a hike of Rs30 as we are not collecting any tax on the fuel," the minister added.
Ismail said the government was holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a daily basis, adding "we cannot accept all their demands but there are certain points that we have to agree to."
However, Ismail said the government would ensure stability in prices of sugar and wheat at Rs70 per kg and Rs40 per kg respectively at utility stores countrywide.
He insisted the subsidy on petroleum products announced by ex-premier Imran Khan had to be withdrawn to avert financial losses.
"Irrespective of what the IMF says, the government cannot sell petrol and diesel at a loss."
The minister said the government was "willing" to import oil [from Russia], provided "it does not come with sanctions".
The price hikes come after the government and the IMF failed to reach an agreement on an economic bailout mainly because of the former's indecision on fuel and electricity subsidies and the resultant next year’s budget uncertainties.
Opposition announces protests against price hike
Meanwhile, opposition leaders hit out at the government for taking prices of petroleum products to a new high, saying that it was struggling to manage the economy.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan called on the people to come out and protest after Friday prayers against the government's "anti-people policies of massive price hikes to crush the public and wreak economic havoc in the country".
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the fresh hike in petrol rates would be a "death of the middle-class from the country".
Ex-planning minister Asad Umar said he saw the "reflection of slavery and not the finance minister of Pakistan at a press conference today".
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq announced his party would begin a "public movement" from June 11 against price hikes.
Meanwhile, former finance minister Shaukat Tarin said that margins of refineries should be reduced, discounted Russian oil should be arranged and there should be a shift to targeted subsidies.