Amid growing economic challenges, Pakistan on Friday announced another hike in the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel. The decision was taken due to the “increasing trend” of petrol prices in the international market, the Pakistan’s Finance Ministry said in an official statement.
The petrol prices were increased by Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 26.02 per litre and high-speed diesel by PKR 17.34 per litre, the second big rise in two weeks. The petrol in crisis-hit Pakistan will now be sold at PKR 333.38 per litre, while the high-speed diesel will cost PKR 329.18 per litre.
Earlier this month, the petrol prices in Pakistan past the threshold of PKR 300 for the first time ever.
Petrol and electricity prices have rocketed in Pakistan due to recent economic reforms that have led to historic levels of inflation and high interest rates, putting pressure on ordinary people and businesses.
It is noteworthy that a $3 billion loan programme, approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, averted a sovereign debt default in Pakistan but reforms linked to the bailout have fuelled annual inflation running at 27.4%.
Worsening economic conditions, along with rising political tension ahead of a national election scheduled for November, have triggered sporadic protests in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said citizens would have to pay inflated bills as there is no “second option”.
“When you subsidise, you shift your fiscal obligations to the future. Rather than addressing the issue, you just delay it,” he told reporters in Islamabad.