The Shehbaz Sharif government increased the price of gasoline and diesel by PKR 35 per litre on Sunday, adding to the burden already felt by Pakistanis who are suffering from inflation. “We’ve agreed to add Rs 35 to the cost of gasoline and fuel. Kerosene and light diesel fuel now cost Rs. 18, respectively “Ishaq Dar, the finance minister, stated. Petrol, diesel, and kerosene will now each cost Rs. 262.80, Rs. 249.80, Rs. 189.83, and Rs. 187 per litre, respectively.
The choice was made in advance of a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visiting the country to talk about the ninth review of the nation’s ongoing funding programme, which has stagnated.
Conditions getting worse:
After the government-imposed price limits were lifted last week, which the IMF opposed, the Pakistani rupee lost close to 12% of its value. The Pakistani rupee reached its lowest value against the US dollar on Friday, falling to 262.6 rupees.
Because oil marketing corporations have cut back on supplies, gas stations all around Pakistan are swiftly running out of fuel. Even Islamabad now frequently witnesses long car lineups at gas stations. The price of both domestically produced goods and imported commodities have skyrocketed in response to the spike in oil prices.
According to a World Bank research, six million people in Pakistan are currently suffering from severe food insecurity. Between September and December, there could be an increase to 8.5 million.
Meanwhile, the country’s hospitals are running low on medications, and there may soon be shortages of necessities like fertilisers.
The nation is now experiencing a 28% inflation rate, and a supply chain collapse might result in hyperinflation. Additionally, there may be an increase in imported inflation as a result of the sharp currency devaluation.
Low on Foreign Reserves:
The State Bank of Pakistan only has 4.4 billion dollars’ worth of foreign exchange reserves, barely enough to cover imports for three weeks. The benchmark interest rate of the central bank recently rose to 17%, the highest level in more than 24 years. Experts have cautioned that Islamabad may experience financial ruin if the nation is not quickly helped.
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