Dar surprised by State Bank’s bonds trading before rate cut

Says petrol cheaper in market but PTI selling POL products at higher rates

By: News Desk      Published: 03:48 PM, 27 Jun, 2020
Dar surprised by State Bank’s bonds trading before rate cut

Senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar on Saturday described the latest increase in POL prices as another inflation bomb and said the PTI government was supplying petroleum products at a much higher rate despite the lower price in the international market.

Dar, who is a close aide of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, also noted in an earlier tweet that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) sold bonds worth Rs186 billion at higher interest rates but reduced the interest rate by 1 percent on the very next day.

The former finance minister recalled that the PML-N government provided petrol and diesel at the rate of Rs88 and Rs99 when the crude oil price in the international market in April 2018 was $72 per barrel. However, he added, the PTI setup was selling petrol and diesel for Rs100 and Rs101 respectively in June 2020 with the crude oil price available at $41.

Separately, Dar said the State Bank on June 24 sold five-year and 10-year bonds at the rate of 8.44 percent and 8.95 percent. But the interest rate was reduced by on by percent to 7 percent on June 25, which meant that an amount of Rs1.86 billion could have been saved annually if the bonds were sold on June 25 or 26, he added.

He listed the government working as “Imrana pandemic’s destruction” while blasting the State Bank move.