Sherry Rehman slams federal govt over petrol price hike

Islamabad: PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman has slammed the federal government for increasing the price of petrol.

“Despite a historical dip in international oil prices, the PTI government has once again increased petrol prices by 2.5-4.6% for the third time in 31 days. Instead of providing relief to the people in times economic uncertainty and extreme inflation, the PTI government has dropped another petrol bomb,” she said in a statement.

Commenting on low international oil prices amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Senator added, “Today, price of crude oil is around $55. During PPP’s government, international crude oil was +$140, yet the situation was nowhere close to what it is now”.

“The recent petrol inquiry report has estimated Rs 250 billion worth of oil smuggling from Iran and numerous other controversial operations. We’ve had no shortage of scams; wheat, sugar, LNG and now the oil scam. All multi-billion dollars scams reflect incompetence, poor decision making & looting”, added the Senator.

“This is the 5th increase in petrol prices in 9 weeks. It is shocking that the PTI govt has almost doubled its reliance on petroleum levy as a source of revenue – from 260b of last year to Rs 450b budgeted for this fiscal year. All of the burden is now being passed on to the masses.”, added the Senator.

Our industries were already crippled due to the recent hike in gas prices. Yesterday, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) rejected the PTI government’s petrol bomb. Moreover, Pakistan’s struggling textile industry contributes 50-60% to the country’s export but has already lost its global textile share by 23%. This is alarming considering that we are the 5th largest cotton producer in the world.

Highlighting the deteriorating state of economy, the Senator said, “Inflation is already highest in the region, public debt is breaking all previous records and the circular debt challenge is becoming bigger by the day. Pakistan’s public debt is piling up at an alarming rate of Rs 13.2 billion per day under PTI govt. A whopping Rs11.6 trillion has been added since 2018. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data puts the public debt figure at Rs 35.8 trillion.”

Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “The PTI government has given nothing to the country except extreme inflation and high unemployment in the past two and a half years. The poor and vulnerable will be hit hard by this petrol price bomb. The PPP rejects this move”.