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‘Utterly shameful’: Opposition slams federal govt over petroleum price hike

Bomb of petrol inflation a continuation of mini-budget, says Shehbaz. (Source: Tribune)

ISLAMABAD: The Opposition on Saturday strongly criticised the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government after yet another increase in the prices of petroleum products.

Earlier in the day, the government increased the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre taking it to a record level of Rs137.79 per litre. Similarly, the price of another essential commodity, high-speed diesel (HSD), was increased by Rs12.44 and will now sell at Rs134.48.

The price of light-speed diesel was also jacked up by Rs8.84 and will now be sold for Rs108.35 per litre, according to a notification by the Finance Division. Kerosene oil price has touched Rs110.26 after an increase of Rs10.95.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called Prime Minister Imran Khan ‘an enemy of the people’.  “The increase in the price of petroleum products a day after the rise in electricity tariff prices proved that Imran Khan was an anti-people prime minister,” he said

The PPP chairman continued, “By increasing the petroleum prices, PTI has brought a tsunami of inflation,” adding, “By increasing the price of petrol by more than Rs10 per litre, the government is actually collecting the price of its incompetence.”

Bilawal added that only a people-friendly government of the PPP could save the country from this turmoil. “During PPP’s rule, the prices of petroleum products in the world market had skyrocketed, but we did not impose such a burden on the people,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto also also urged the people of Pakistan to support him to get rid of the “tyrannical government” that was pushing Pakistan into the mire of inflation.

Meanwhile, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif termed the increase as “utterly shameful” and said that the latest hike will push people to the brink of starvation. Shehbaz termed the increase in prices as a continuation of the mini-budget.

“After the recent 14% increase in the price of electricity, the bomb of petrol inflation is a continuation of the mini-budget which is evidence of the current government’s failures,” he said.

Shehbaz added that raising the price of petrol by more than Rs10 per litre was similar to taking the “being cursed by oppressed people”. “How will people feed their children? Cost of everything goes up with the increase in petrol prices. Then Imran Niazi says that the nation does not understand the reason for the inflation,” he added.

He lamented that a person with a salary of Rs10,000 was getting an electricity bill the same amount. “What will that person eat?” he asked. “How will they pay the rent? How will he survive?”

It may be recalled that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Pakistan had proposed an increase in the price of petrol by Rs 5.90 per litre.