Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Will reduction in fuel Prices bring relief for common man?

The Government of Pakistan is focused on giving respite to the public through reforms and is battling hard to cool down the alarming pressure of inflation and economic burden on its people. The government on Saturday reduced the price of petrol by Rs5 per litre to provide relief to the consumers. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, petrol would now be sold at Rs111.6 per litre with effect from March 1 against Rs116.6 per liter during February. “The government is committed to extending relief to the public whenever fiscal space becomes available,” the statement added that following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, prices of petroleum products were reduced.
The decision would go a long way in bringing down the rate of inflation as fuel is the primary source of transportation and agriculture in the country. The decrease in prices should also bring down fares of public transport. The LDO; an industrial fuel, its price were reduced to Rs77.51 from earlier Rs84.51/liter. The kerosene is used for cooking purposes, especially in remote areas where LPG or gas pipeline is not available; its price has also been slashed to Rs92.45 from earlier Rs99.45/litre. As the high speed diesel is used in transport and agricultural sectors, there is a likelihood that cut in its price will also cause a reduce inflation in the country. Diesel followed by petrol is the most heavily-consumed petroleum product in the country, with an average per month consumption of around 700,000 tons and 600,000 tons, respectively.
Current govt is pursuing various initiatives such as Ehsaas Program and Shelter home to provide relief to the poverty stricken and low-income families. Reduction in oil process will also ease inflation and will help reduce prices of essential commodities. The move would provide much-needed relief to the masses facing high inflation rate for the last few months.
It is also important to note that the government has also launched a nationwide crackdown against the mafia who are one of the main causes of shortages in supply of essential commodities. The decision would go a long way as higher oil prices significantly impact not just the economy but household budgets as well as it leads to increase in cost of transportation and therefore impacts a lot of other products in the inflation basket.
A drastic restructuring in pricing structure and amendment to rules were required to comply with the PM’s directive and hence would require some time to deliver. Because of these converging views, the Prime Minister Office had ordered Ogra and the ministry of energy to keep the proposed rates strictly confidential before releasing. This indicates that the government is not fully passing on the cushion to the local consumers and has focused on meeting the revenue target of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan did not adhere to the advice of the finance ministry and issued the orders for lowering the prices of petroleum products. It is reported that the finance ministry and IMF wanted the government to raise the prices of petrol, gas and electricity. Premier Imran, however, said he would take whatever steps were required for lowering the prices of commodities and would end inflation in the country. The reduction in fuel prices is also due to Corona Virus which has hit international markets and slow business worldwide. Globally, oil prices dropped to the lowest in more than a year after hundreds of new coronavirus cases were reported in Europe and the Middle East. As the COVID-19 crashed the stock markets, it also affected oil prices globally dropping below $50 to its lowest since January 2019.
The PTI Government need to step up their game to revolutionize the mindsets of the public who were gradually losing hope on Imran Khan and PTI. The change and transformation is gradual in pace but steady and the policies are gradually showing significant improvements in the economy. Reduction in the fuel prices should be for the betterment of the people and should benefit them with a right channel.

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