From few days daily Rupee is in pressure again US dollar and other stable currencies of the world. Rupee today again traded at record all time low of 90.48 against US dollar. This is the true depiction of weakening economy of Pakistan. Pakistan have now few outstanding payments of Oil bills, also increasing loan pressures are making things worse. Deteriorating currency for people mean that they will now have to pay more for their oil and all other bills as everything is imported, so as money weakens the prices of fuel go up, so does the inflation.
This is all due to the defective policies of current government as they have been able come up with circumstances and opportunities to attract the foreign investors. On the contrary the law and order situation in country is so bad that no foreign investors would like to invest fund here for now.
The gas and power outages are causing the closure of existing business and industries here, the ones which are surviving are facing the worst circumstances of all time. The Stock Exchange also closing at low day in and day out.
Until government does not come out with some serious plan to make things right, like dealing with issues of Power, gas and other fuel, dealing with inflation and dealing with law ‘n’ order situation, country’s economy will keep worsen. No more foreign investment will seen, inflation rate will keep increasing exponentially and currency will keep deteriorating making things worse for people of Pakistan.
Unfortunate fact is that we can’t expect any good now from current government as their last four years of rule show that they does not thought futuristically or never thought at all to devise strategies which bring the country out of turmoil and make wheel rolling. They have one more year, though people don’t expect any good now from them but still they can do few good things to bring country out of this bad situation otherwise people have their vote to select correct people in next elections.
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As recently Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had increased the price of CNG by Rs. 8 on December 30th 2011. That triggered the strike from the CNG association as well as from the pubic transport unions. One other reason was closure of CNG for more than half a week each week so public transporters were not being able to get tanks filled.
Yesterday after success of the dialog between CNG Association/Transporters and OGRA, OGRA with other measures taken also had told transporters/CNG Association that they will decrease the price soon.
Today this hilarious decision came from OGRA, which is that price of CNG have been decreased 36 Paisas. As just few days back the price was increased by 8 Rs, decrease of 36 Paisas is only 4,5% of recent increase and is less than 0.5 percent of price of CNG.
This price decrease of 0.36 Paisas is like current government is kidding their people by putting OGRA in front. Also no justification was given about why per KG price is increased by 8 Rs and why its decreased by only 4.5 Paisas.
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CNG Associtation and transporters of Pakistan were on strike from last two days against the CNG Prices hike and unavailability of CNG fuel due to so called load Management plan, which was causing outage of CNG fuel for transporters for half week.
Now, negotiation between CNG association/transporters and department of Petroleum and Natural Resources have been successful. In turn the CNG Association and transporters have called the strike off. Prices are CNG are not yet reviewed to make a decrease but public transporters will be given CNG fuel in off days of week as well for 8 hours in a day. Also CNG will remain close two full days and 16 additional hours every week.
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Like yesterday, today as well people hit the roads of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Peshawar. Protests are against the government which committed the act of unnecessarily increasing the CNG prices as well as the off days of CNG filling stations were constantly being increased.
Transporters were also on strike and were on roads due to the fact that they were being denied the relaxation which was given to public transport within the off days of CNG. It was that CNG filling will be allowed few hours daily to serve the needs of public transport only.
As the relaxation of filling hours gone away from the public transporters, they gone on strike and hit the roads, so do the people who couldn’t reach their offices and educational institutions due to the unavailability of public transport. The biggest gathering was at Faizabad Rawalpindi. Protestors in Islamabad and Rawalpindi were shelled with tear gas shells, also were beaten with sticks by police. Also on some places like Faizabad Rawalpindi protestors were hit with rubber bullets.
In Peshawar 15o0 Rickshaw drivers protested against the availability of CNG and increased prices of fuel. Police again used sticks to scatter the protesters.
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Already when people of Pakistan are furious about the recent CNG prices hike and shortage, today the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) marketing companies increased the prices of gas from 10 to 15 Rupees per KG. This adds 150 to 170 additional Rs to the price of domestic gas Cylinder. These domestic cylinders are now available from Rs 1870 to 2050.
About 70% of Pakistani people are living in Rural areas, about all of gas users in those areas rely on LPG cylinders. Now even people of urban areas who have to gas lines coming in houses, often have to rely on gas cylinders due to low pressure in supply lines. This way this increase in price will effect most of Pakistani people who are already furious due to up going inflation rates.
Current Government which seems to sit idle will have to devise some aggressive strategy to deal with these fuel, gas and power shortages as well as they will have to introduce people friendly prices other than taking profit on these daily basic needs.
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