Karachi [Pakistan], May 27 (ANI): Trade and industry leaders of Pakistan have slammed the Shehbaz Sharif government for increasing the petrol and diesel prices by PKR 30 per litre causing a surge in the cost of production in the country.
Zubair Motiwalla, from the Chairman Businessmen Group of Pakistan(BMG), has anticipated a surge in production cost by 5-7 per cent due to the increase in petroleum price, reported Dawn newspaper.
He added that the rise in petroleum rates will heavily impact the retail prices of goods, making the lives of the common man more miserable owing to the rising cost of living.
"The jump of Rs 30 per litre in petrol and diesel will be difficult for the people and the industry to absorb," Dawn newspaper quoted Motiwalla saying.
In addition, he mentioned that the Pakistan government should have increased the rates of petroleum in phases.
"The government should have increased the petroleum prices in phases rather than giving a straight jerk to the consumers as well as to the industrial sector... I predict more tough days when the government will meet the other IMF conditions like increasing power and gas tariff, reducing circular debt and removing subsidies," he said.
However, the government's decision to raise fuel prices will remove a major obstacle in the way of concluding a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund, reported Dawn newspaper.
This price hike came after talks between the Pakistan government and IMF in Doha. These discussions were aimed at reaching an agreement on policies at the conclusion of the IMF's seventh review of its USD 6 billion programmes for Pakistan, which has been stalled since early April.
The IMF had refused to revive the USD 6 billion programme if Pakistan fails to remove the fiscally unsustainable fuel and electricity subsidies. It had given Islamabad two days to lift the cap for the continuation of talks
Although the increase in fuel prices would cause a surge in inflation, it will pave the way for Pakistan to achieve an IMF loan tranche of about USD 1 billion. It would further unblock assistance from other multilateral and bilateral lenders, shore up foreign exchange reserves, improve the exchange rate and energise the stock market, reported Dawn newspaper.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Imran Khan has also slammed Shehbaz Sharif for his decision of the petroleum price hike. Pakistan on Thursday raised the prices of petroleum products by PKR 30 per litre, stating that the decision was taken to ensure the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. (ANI)