Petroleum prices and Common man -The Frontier Post

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Maemuna Sadaf

To ensure the revival of IMF program of PKR 1 billion 5 million and 90 lacs, the prices of Petroleum products, Electricity and gas have been increased. The decision to increase the prices is implemented immediately. Raise in Petroleum product process are as follows. The petrol prices raised up to PKR 8.14 per liter, High speed diesel PKR 8.03, Kerosene PKR 6.27, light diesel PKR 5.72 respectively. As petrol is used in private transport, small vehicles, rickshaws and motor bykes, this hick in prices have affected the prices of housing utilities, transport. The prices of housing utilities have jumped up to 12% and 14% from 9.7% and 9.1% respectively. The increase in the prices of High speed diesel is highly inflationary as it is  used in heavy transportation, trains , agricultural engines like trucks, buses, tractors, tube wells and threshers. The prices of Kerosene oil were set as Rs 11.53 per liter, that up by PKR 6.27 per liter. Light diesel oil used in flour mills and a couple of power plants increased up to PKR 5.72. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, petroleum products have crossed Pkr 100.  On the other hand, this is also a new record of PKR 8, increase per liter. Within the couple of months, Inflation rate has been increased up to 9.2% whereas it was 9.0% in last month.

Writing more! By the increase in Petroleum product prices, added to the prices of the housing utilities, transportation. Rightly named by opposition “Petrol bomb” has reduced the purchasing power of the masses. These price hicks have affected middle and lower middle class the most. In case of salaried persons, the salaries are not increased. On the other hand, due to corona pandemic, in private sector many among the masses have lost their jobs. The middle class is facing extreme difficulty in full filling their bread and butter. The present inflation has worsened the scenario.

Discussing about the income classes, the statistics shows that middle class is 29.5 of the population, Lower middle 32.8% whereas the upper class is 37.7%. The people earning PKR 15, 000 to PKR 20, 000 are more than 112 millions. According to per person per day 12 US dollar income, the lower class, earning less than the 12 US $ are 98.1%. The upper class comprises of mill/factory owners, petrol pump owners, or other business tycoons. Businessman usually transfers the burden of increase in petroleum product prices to the end buyer. The end consumer mainly belongs to lower or middle class.

Beside Pakistan, the international prices of Petroleum have been reduced. The affect of this reduction has not reversed the Petroleum prices in Pakistan. Federal minister for information and broad casting said that the effects of Petroleum price reduction will be transferred to common man in a couple of months.

Question raises here! Are the petroleum product prices are only one way to collect money for the repayment of IMF installment? On the other hand, why government is keen to get money from the IMF ? Why the internal resources are not used in a proper way? Present government has spent three years wailing for bringing the looted money of the country back. But still not a single penny is recovered. The whole burden of IMF and other loans installments has been transferred to the common man.

Concluding more! The present government should try to bring back the looted money and make some expert mechanism through which the financial requirement of the country should be fulfilled internally. Because, loans are loans, this is a liability which has to be returned with heavy interest rates. The pay back is always a burden on economy. In fact this is not the last loan. Pakistan is already entangled with chain of loans that should be broken as soon as possible.