September 6, 2023
Economy Pakistan

Fuel prices surge in Pakistan due to currency depreciation

The cost of petrol and high-speed diesel has increased in Pakistan, with petrol now costing Rs 111.90 per litre, a rise of Rs 2.13, while high-speed diesel remains unchanged at Rs 116.07 per litre. The government has attributed the surge in fuel prices to an increase in Platts Singapore prices and the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee over the past two weeks. Reports suggest that the Pakistani rupee has depreciated by an average of Rs 16 per dollar during this period.

Petrol and high-speed diesel are the primary revenue generators in Pakistan, with monthly sales of around 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes. In contrast, kerosene and light diesel oil demand is considerably lower, at approximately 10,000 and 2,000 tonnes per month, respectively. The price of kerosene oil has also risen by Rs 2.56, bringing the cost to Rs 190.29 per litre. However, the price of light diesel remains unchanged at Rs 184.84 per litre.

The government’s decision to increase fuel prices has sparked controversy and led to protests across the country. Opposition parties have criticized the move, arguing that it will further burden the public, who are already struggling due to rising inflation and unemployment. They have also accused the government of mismanaging the economy and failing to control the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee.

The government has defended its decision to increase fuel prices, stating that it is necessary to maintain financial stability and avoid a balance of payments crisis. It has also announced several measures to ease the impact of the price hike on the public, such as subsidies for low-income households and reductions in taxes on other commodities.

However, critics have questioned the effectiveness of these measures, arguing that they are insufficient to alleviate the economic hardships faced by the public. They have called for a more comprehensive and long-term strategy to address the root causes of Pakistan’s economic problems, including corruption, poor governance, and lack of investment in key sectors.

The increase in petrol and kerosene prices in Pakistan has sparked controversy and protests, with opposition parties criticizing the government’s decision and calling for more effective measures to alleviate the public’s economic hardships. While the government has defended its actions as necessary for maintaining financial stability, critics argue that more comprehensive and long-term solutions are needed to address the underlying issues of corruption, poor governance, and lack of investment. The future of Pakistan’s economy remains uncertain, and it is essential for policymakers to take effective and sustainable steps to ensure the country’s prosperity and stability.

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