Govt to Keep Petroleum Prices Unchanged

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Sunday said that prices of petroleum products are expected to remain unchanged as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is unwilling to further burden the inflation hit masses.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the finance minister said that the government may have to increase the prices in the long run but for now there will be no increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The minister took to Twitter after the press conference and clarified that petroleum prices will not be increased today. However, he added that “due to changing circumstances and international oil prices, we may have to revisit our decision soon.”

The minister said that Pakistan has requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend the bailout program for one year and enhance the size of the loan program from $6 billion to $8 billion. Talks between IMF and Pakistani authorities are expected to start in the coming week with a focus on petroleum and electricity subsidies.

One of the key IMF demands is the withdrawal of the relief package announced by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Under the package, the former premier had announced to keep prices of petroleum products unchanged till June 2022.

The government is currently providing a subsidy of about Rs. 31 per liter on petrol and Rs. 73 per liter on diesel, in addition, a subsidy of Rs. 5 per unit is also being provided on electricity.