Increase in petroleum prices caused by higher oil prices in Int’l market: Tarin

Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin says the increase in petroleum prices is caused by the higher oil prices in international market.

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Talking to media along with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib in Islamabad on Friday, he said the government passed on minimum increase in the prices to the consumers.

The Minister said the government absorbed the pressure of hike in prices in international market by bearing the burden of two billion rupees. However, he said, Pakistan is also impacted by global oil price hike because of COVID-19.

Shaukat Tarin said Pakistan stands at 17th position in respect of oil prices in the world, and the countries where prices are lower than Pakistan themselves produce oil. He said petroleum prices in Pakistan are the lowest in the region. He said the global oil price hike caused by Covid-19 has impacted Pakistan as well.

The Finance Minister said the entire world has witnessed food inflation due to Covid-19, and being a food importer, Pakistan also had to face this impact. However, he said, the government is taking steps to bring down the prices of essential items. He said direct subsidy will be provided to the deserving people on essential items like flour, ghee, sugar and pulses. He said agriculture is also being focused to grow food items locally to meet the demands.

Shaukat Tarin said economy is growing with positive indicators of growth in agriculture, industry, services and revenue collection.

He said the government would soon launch Kamyab Pakistan Program in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to make Pakistan a welfare state. He sad under the program, interest free loans will be provided to farmers and urban citizens. He said a member of each deserving family will be provided skills. He said Sehat Cards will be provided across the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Farrukh Habib said provincial governments also have responsibility to control prices of essential commodities. He said the Punjab government is performing well in this regard. He said the prices of wheat and flour in Sindh are higher than that of Punjab.

The Minister of State said the government is working on food security.

He said ten dams are being constructed that will add affordable energy to the national grid. He said the government is striving to ensure that minimum impact of international prices is passed on to people. He said sales tax and petroleum levy have been gradually reduced to lower burden on consumers. Farrukh Habib said that despite challenges, the government is making efforts to provide relief to people.

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