Islamabad [Pakistan], April 26 (ANI): Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday said that there was "no chance" of an immediate hike in the price of petrol in the next few days but did not rule out the possibility of revising the prices on or after May 1, adding that even if the price has surged, it will be done after considering various factors.
Speaking at a Pakistani television show, Ismail said that the public should not worry about any impending price hike in the next three to four days. "If there is a surge in fuel prices, it will be done after consideration of multiple factors including the summary submitted by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA)," Dawn newspaper reported.
Pakistan Finance Minister's statement came a day after he told the US-based think tank, Atlantic Council, during his Washington visit that the government will increase the petroleum products prices to get the economy back on track and also to revive the stalled bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund.
During an interview on a television show, Ismail said that the Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would also question him regarding the measures that needed to be taken to insulate the poor when he eventually is recommending a petrol price hike and "Thus, I also have to make that plan, which I haven't yet."
"We will have to review subsidies given to the rich segment in order to ease inflationary pressure on the poor," the minister added, as reported by Dawn.
Earlier, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) proposed the Pakistan government to make a massive hike in fuel prices, up to Rs 83.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 119 on diesel from April 17.
The Authority regulating the oil and gas sector in Pakistan has sent a summary to the Petroleum Division making the proposal for this massive price hike. The proposed hike was made on the basis of the 70 per cent of GST and Rs 30 per litre levy, ARY News reported citing sources.
After OGRA proposed a hike in petrol prices, Hammad Azhar, former energy minister and the current focal person for the economy of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tweeted, "At prevalent taxes, the rate increase OGRA has asked for is Rs 21/litre in Petrol and Rs 51 per litre in Diesel. This is the differential that PTI govt was subsidising effectively to provide relief to the masses."
"OGRA always depicts two options in its proposal; one with full taxes & one with prevalent. Media picked the figure with full taxes scenario," added Azhar, reported the news channel.
Azhar continued "We hope that the complete price differential mechanism built by us to provide relief to the masses will not be disturbed by imported govt."(ANI)