The recent surge in fuel prices is not only affecting the already vulnerable, inflation-stricken masses in Pakistan but is also sending shockwaves through the business community. Fuel Price Hikes in Pakistan are causing business executives to feel the heat of the relentless fuel price hikes in Pakistan, and they are expressing grave concerns about the consequences.
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Impact on Inflation
Business leaders fear that the substantial increase in petroleum product prices will exacerbate the already unprecedented inflation levels in the country. This, in turn, is expected to further deteriorate the living conditions of the average citizen and compound the industry-wide challenges arising from excessively high business operational costs.
Criticism Towards the Interim Government
One key point of criticism directed towards the interim government is its failure to adjust petroleum prices despite the declining landing costs of imported crude. This decrease is driven by the continuous strengthening of the rupee against the dollar over the past eight interbank sessions, even in the face of rising global crude oil prices.
FP CCI’s Concerns
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, has been vocal about these concerns. The apex chamber has repeatedly raised issues related to the import of Russian crude oil, the handling of oil cargoes in conjunction with oil refining processes, and the streamlining of commercial payment processes for oil transactions.
Had the authorities heeded the advice of the FPCCI, the nation might have had a larger supply of Russian crude oil, which is currently 40% more affordable than other options in the international markets. However, the authorities chose not to act on this counsel.
Record-Breaking Fuel Price Hike
On September 15th, 2023, the interim government, led by Kakar, made a staggering increase in petrol prices. The price of petrol soared by Rs. 26.02 per liter, pushing it to Rs. 331.38 per liter, up from Rs. 305.36. Simultaneously, the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) witnessed a significant jump of Rs. 17.34 per liter, reaching Rs. 329.18, from its previous price of Rs. 311.84.
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