Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry along with two other members of bench took notice of recent electricity price increase. He asked government to submit the details of tariff to the court, further more he mentioned that the poorest of poor have been badly affected by the recent blunt power price hike from Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led Government of Pakistan.
On other hand an advocate, Masiur Rahman Chaudhry have filled a petition against the electricity and petroleum prices increase by government of Pakistan in Lahore High Court (LHC). According to Advocate Masiur Rahman the prices of petroleum prices are lowering all over the world, so its illegal to increase the price of petroleum products in Pakistan at this moment.
Even Indian government have lowered the petrol price just yesterday, so this price hike from Pakistan was utterly disgusting measure to bury the people of Pakistan under more difficulties which they already have in good quantity.
In his couple of tweets Imran khan have also condemned the recent petrol/electricity prices hikes by PML-N government. Tweets are as follows.
PMLN govt has betrayed its mandate as it has been bombarding ppl with price hikes; devaluation; spiralling inflation since coming to power.
Second one from Imran khan goes like
PTI rejects the latest elec/fuel price hikes. We r planning countrywide protests as well as in the assemblies.
So chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), former cricketer and a social worker Imran Khan rejected the fuel/electricity prices hike by government and explained how PML-N betrayed their own people who had voted them in to the government of Pakistan.
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Recently Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) which is in government right now, seems to be punishing people for giving them heavy mandate. They have recently increased the prices of Electricity very much heavily along with price hike in petroleum prices.
Price of petrol have been increased by Rs. 4.12, which would now set new per liter price at Rs 113.25 from the previous Rs. 109.13. Similarly price of high speed diesel have been increased from Rs. 112.26 to 116.95 with increase of whooping Rs. 4.69 per liter. Price of High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) have also been increased by Rs. 5.57 to 143.90 per liter.
Not only this, the price of kerosene oil have been also increased, this is usually used in rural areas of Pakistan to cook food and keep warm. People of rural areas does not have other options and this oil is already expensive for them but government have hit them as well with increase of Rs 2.81 setting up new price above Rs. 100 mark which exactly is now 101.24.
Higher fuel prices directly impact people of Pakistan. As fuel prices hike directly increase the transportation costs of everything which in turn increases the cost of living. In country like Pakistan where major population group is in low income or even below poverty lines, these higher petroleum prices are not good at all. Government is even earning from these prices as its imposing petroleum levy (a tax) on all products from Rs. 6 to Rs. 17 per liter. On top of this levy government is also imposing 17% sales tax on each liter of all petroleum prices.
If PML-N led government want, they could bring down the prices of all petroleum products by at least Rs. 23 and above by just removing the extra taxes.
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Another petroleum prices hike was took in place on Saturday in Pakistan to keep up with the price hike going on in the International market. According to government these price hikes were to keep up with International market and they can not provide any subsidies to people any more. I doubt that they were providing any subsidies to people in recent past.
This is second major hike in petroleum prices in time period of just few days. As soon as this price hike came in place the price to diesel approaches to the Rs 100 mark with its current price of 97.31 from old price of 92.89 which was set few days ago after a previous raise in price. The Light deisal price was took up Rs. 9.32 making it cost 88.30 per litter to the consumers. Kerosene oil is now costing Rs. 89.70 with price hike of 5.60. Petrol price also headed to the 88.41 with the increase of Rs. 4.85
While the current political party in power (PPP) prepares its reasons for this hike in prices as we know that one factor of this impact of local petroleum prices is continuous deterioration of Pakistani currency against US dollar and other International currencies. This deterioration only picked speed after current political party in power Pakistan Peoples’s Party (PPP) came into power. The Pakistani currency declined in just first six months of power period of PPP was equal to the currency decline of more than 12 years before that.
So from start PPP have not been able to manage things well and impacted the economy real badly. Coming back to the current petroleum prices issue, when PPP talks of not being able to giving any subsidies on petroleum prices on same time they have in-effect taxes on products. GST is already being taken on all products adding a good amount to price and also another charge called petroleum levy is also in place, which further worsens the prices.
Government which is already charging the taxes on a product can it say they are no more able to provide subsidies. In terms of overall development of country if these and other taxes would have been being put in some good use, the people of Pakistan would have been much more happy and comfortable with that. But no development anywhere near that level of collections is being done. Situation with Electricity and Gas shortages is being worsen and economy is doing no good.
Another type of fuel which costs less called Compress Natural Gas (CNG) is also facing the shortage in this country only because of the defective policy of government of Pakistan.
Prices on all kind of commodities like Petroleum products and Electricity being raised blindly, directly impacting the production and transportation costs of every thing else. These blind hikes in the prices will play their part in further worsening the economy.