- Rupee devaluation leads to surge in rate of petroleum products.
- Rates of diesel, petrol reach historic highs of Rs272, Rs280 per litre.
- Inflation to go up in Pakistan after petrol hike, ‘mini-budget’.
The federal government has increased the price of petrol to a historic high in a bid to appease the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for unlocking the critical loan tranche, hours after unveiling a tax-loaded ‘mini-budget‘.
The price of petrol has been moved up to Rs272 per litre after an increase of Rs22.20, a press release from the Finance Division read, noting that the surge has taken place due to the rupee’s devaluation against the dollar.
The price of high-speed diesel has been increased to Rs280 per litre after a hike of Rs17.20. Kerosene oil will now be available at Rs202.73 per litre following a Rs12.90 hike. Meanwhile, light diesel oil will be available at Rs196.68 per litre after an increase of Rs9.68.
The new prices will come into effect from 12am tonight.
|Product||Existing prices w.e.f 29/1/2023||New prices w.e.f 16/2/2023||Increase|
|High speel diesel||262.80||280||17.20|
|Light diesel oil||187||196.86||9.68|
The increase in the price of petroleum products was one of the preconditions of the Washington-based lender, which will lead to a hike in the already record-high inflation, coupled with the new fiscal measures undertaken through the ‘mini-budget’.
Senior economist Katrina Ell, associated with Moody’s Analytics, had predicted that inflation in Pakistan could average 33% in the first half of 2023 before trending lower, and a bailout from the IMF alone is unlikely to put the economy back on track.
Through the “mini-budget”, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led federal government aims to reduce the budget deficit and broaden its tax collection net.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued an SRO, increasing the standard 17% general sales tax (GST) to 18%, for collecting taxes worth Rs115 billion, while the remaining Rs55 billion will be generated through other measures in connection with the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023 — or the ‘mini-budget’.