Fuel price up to ‘appease IMF’
As the Pakistan financial experts are expecting to meet a team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month in a bid to restore the loan programme, according to sources, the government wanted to get over its budget deficit and achieve the revised targets.
The government missed its tax recovery targets and revised them at Rs3908 billion in the current fiscal year, but then it could collect only Rs3,518 billion till May, the sources in the finance ministry said, adding that the revised tax collection target for May was Rs390 billion and the government could collect just Rs227 billion.
It made such an increase in the petroleum prices – 33 percent – on an emergency basis in the end of fiscal year so that it could achieve the targets, as required by the IMF.
The government came under fire for hiking the prices of petroleum products extraordinarily.
Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said the highest increase in the history was ‘sugar scandal part two’. He called the decision ‘atrocious’ and said now ‘petrol mafia’ has been given licence to loot the poor people.
Pakistan People’s Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called the government decision an ‘anti-poor’ at a time when people are in need of relief.