Islamabad, Feb 2 (IANS) The steep hike in petroleum prices is like a bombshell for Pakistan’s impoverished masses, said a daily, ruing that there was no proper regulatory authority working in the country to manage the pricing mechanism in the sector.
An editorial in the Daily Times said: “The government has dropped another bombshell on the impoverished masses by announcing a mammoth increase in petroleum prices, which it had earlier called off on New Year’s eve.”
From petrol and diesel to LPG and CNG, higher prices of these already “pricy yet essential fuel commodities are set to cause further difficulties to the country’s economy and people”, it said.
The hike in the petrol price is six percent while diesel has gone up by 4.7 percent. Similarly, the price of LPG has increased by Rs.15 per kg. The price of CNG has also been augmented by 10 percent per kg.
The editorial said the hike in fuel prices had come at a time when “the masses and the country’s economy are going through a rough patch”.
“Owing to the acute fuel and energy shortage, production has suffered tremendously and thousands of workers have been laid off. Agriculture output also shows a negative trend.
“In this scenario, how will the sliding economy endure an impact of another massive hike in petroleum prices is anyone’s guess,” it wondered.
The editorial added: “It seems that there is no proper regulatory authority working in the country to manage the pricing mechanism in the petroleum sector, keeping in mind its direct impact on the economy and the masses.”