An employee of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday wrote a letter to the head of the agency seeking permission to bring a donkey cart to work after the government's recent fuel price hike rendered him unable to use personal transport.
In a letter addressed to the director-general of CAA, available with Dawn.com, Raja Asif Iqbal — who says he has been in service for 25 years and is now working at the Islamabad International Airport — said inflation had not just "broken the backs of the poor, but also the middle class".
He requested permission to be allowed to bring a donkey cart into the CAA parking lot. "In this inflation, the organisation has halted the transport facility," he said. "Due to the rising petrol prices, it has become impossible to use personal transport.
"Please allow me to bring my donkey cart to the airport," the man further pleaded.
A spokesperson of the CAA, Saifullah Khan, told Dawn.com that every member of the staff is paid a fuel allowance. He also contradicted the employee on the pick-and-drop service.
"They are provided a pick-and-drop service," he said. "A metro bus service is also available for the employees at the airport."
Khan added that the application was "nothing more than a media stunt".
After just a week since the last hike, petrol prices have climbed to Rs209.86 per litre for petrol and Rs204.15 per litre for diesel. The government increased the prices of petroleum products by Rs30 per litre, which went into effect this morning.
Speaking at a news conference, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail also announced that a tax amnesty scheme announced by former prime minister Imran Khan was also coming to an end on July 2 without any application from anyone to avail it.
He conceded that the inevitable decision would increase inflation and create problems for people but said he could not let the country go bankrupt because of the "wrong decisions" of the previous government as international prices were going up and the government was suffering losses about Rs120-130bn per month on petroleum subsidies, excluding taxes.
At the new rates, the subsidy or loss on petroleum products would be reduced to about Rs25bn per month.