Fawad Chaudhry defends government on petrol’s massive price hike

Oct 17, 2021: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that if the prices of petroleum and gas go up worldwide, they will go up in Pakistan as well.

Reacting to the government’s widespread condemnation and criticism of the recent sharp rise in prices of petroleum products, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said the entire country could not be run on subsidies.

Responding to outrage over the recent rise in oil and gas prices, the minister said that the propaganda about the rise in prices was like “we are on a separate planet from the earth”.

A day earlier, the PTI-led government had announced a sharp rise in prices of petroleum products, raising the price of petrol by Rs 10.49 per liter and high-speed diesel by Rs 12.44 per liter for the next fortnight.

In a statement, Fawad Chaudhry said that the increase in international market prices was due to the increase in fuel prices. Oil prices in the country are linked to international prices, he said, adding that prices in the country will fall when commodity prices fall in the global market.

On Saturday, the government announced a sharp rise in prices of petroleum products, raising the price of petrol by Rs 10.49 per liter and high-speed diesel by Rs 12.44 per liter for the next fortnight.

The increase in petroleum products was announced by the government a day after the Rs 1.39 per unit hike in electricity tariff, which will come into effect from next month. According to the notification issued by the Finance Ministry, the price of kerosene has gone up by Rs 10.95 per liter while light speed diesel has gone up by Rs 8.84 per liter.

Fawad Chaudhry encouraged people to “face difficulties together as a “nation”, claiming that economic difficulties are temporary.

The minister said the industry, agriculture and construction sectors were making “historic profits” and the private sector should increase the wages of the working class. “Salary increases are a way to stem the rise in prices,” he said.

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