Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar told the Senate that petroleum products in Pakistan had prices lower than 127 countries. Bahrmand Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed moved a motion on Monday pertaining to the recent spike in prices of petroleum products to which minister Hammad responded that the state had given tax relief worth Rs465 billion in order to keep the prices of petroleum products lesser than most other countries.

Further elaborating on it, he said that the prices of high-speed diesel and petrol have observed an increase of 36% and 40% respectively in the global markets since January 2021.

While the government of Pakistan had allowed an increase of only 6% for petrol and 9% for diesel in order to offer maximum relief to its people. Defending the government, he explained that such relief was only possible because the government decided to slash numerous taxes on petroleum products to the benefit of the masses.

Launching an attack on the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) he said that instead of passing the impact of oil prices—which were at their lowest during the tenure of PML-N—to the masses they resorted to collecting 56% of taxes levied on the various petroleum products.

Meanwhile, the existing government had levied only Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 5.25 per litre on diesel leading to a collection of just 10% on petrol and 11% on diesel.

The minister emphasized that due to the rise in commodity prices in the international market after the pandemic, inflation rates had increased. However, in Pakistan petrol and diesel are still being sold at the lowest prices in the region i.e., Rs123 and Rs 120.

Mushtaq Ahmed and Bahrmand Tangi demanded the government to lower prices of petroleum products in order to reduce the miseries of the public to which the minister responded by emphasizing the need to unify for the purpose of providing relief to the population of the country instead of resorting to emotional slogans.  

Azhar reiterated that the government was constantly making efforts to provide relief for the people through the provision of a record subsidy to Utility Stores Corporation in addition to a large number of funds for the Ehsaas program and the health cards issued to the public.

He added that the network of ‘Langarkhanas’ was being expanded into cities throughout the country.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
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