THE government, regardless of which party is heading it at any point in time, increases petrol prices every now and then, claiming to have taken drastic measures to control the economic situation as advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Despite the fact that successive governments vehemently claim that they have come to serve the people, particularly the underprivileged, the claims have always proved to be useless and hollow political statements.

No matter which party the government belongs to, it is the middle and lower classes that always face and bear the brunt of the rising prices of petroleum products, while the elite do not care much about the exorbitant petrol prices. They are least bothered if the price of petroleum products is Rs100 per litre or Rs1,000.

At present, every senior government official is entitled to have free petrol. Who foots the bill? The national exchequer, of course. In such a situation, when the ruling class is getting facilities and privileges for free, how can they understand the sufferings and difficulties of the common man?

Simultaneously, when the working class is spending most of its earnings on petrol, the privileged class, especially those working in the public sector, are enjoying free petrol and making a living off the poor.

The story does not end here. The government employees, members of parliament and cabinet ministers not only receive free petrol, but also free electricity and telephone units.

Not only this, the families of the elite also get facilities like free air and rail travel, which is nothing but a cruel joke on the underprivileged segments of a poor and indebted country.

There are reports the government is considering more than one holiday a week to minimise petrol consumption. The public is also being advised to reduce the use of petrol by avoiding unnecessary commute.

But before advising the public, it would be better for the government to try to reduce the import bill by stopping free petrol to its employees and the ruling class.

M. Shamail Anwar
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Spy games
Updated 02 Oct, 2022

Spy games

The audios leaked so far appear to have been carefully curated: they apply pressure but do not do major damage.
‘Geopolitical football’
02 Oct, 2022

‘Geopolitical football’

THE US-China rivalry is by all measures one of the globe’s most dangerous competitions for power and influence. ...
Fuel price reduction
02 Oct, 2022

Fuel price reduction

ISHAQ Dar is back; so are his signature policies. The reduction of a little over 5pc in fuel prices announced by him...
Untruths and politics
Updated 01 Oct, 2022

Untruths and politics

It would arguably be in the national interest for the Supreme Court to take up the cipher and settle the matter.
Farmers’ protest
01 Oct, 2022

Farmers’ protest

SEVERAL hundred farmers have converged on Islamabad for the last three days to protest against the soaring costs of...
Dasht-i-Barchi bombing
01 Oct, 2022

Dasht-i-Barchi bombing

ON Friday morning, Kabul’s Dasht-i-Barchi neighbourhood was rocked by a terrorist attack targeting an educational...