High food and fuel prices have pushed Pakistan’s weekly inflation for the week ended August 5 to a record high 42.31 percent year-on-year, adding to the woes of the common citizens.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed prices of tomato rose 20.28 per cent and chicken 7.57 per cent. Prices of onion, powdered milk and eggs have also spiked. An analyst said that prices could further inch upward as the latest petrol price hike is yet to be absorbed in the system. The steady increase of fuel prices, as prescribed by the International Monetary Fund, has added to the inflationary pressure.
Despite easing global prices, the Shehbaz Sharif government decided to hike petrol price by (Pakistani) Rs 6.72 per litre last week.
Pakistan is hoping to get a bailout package from the IMF by the month-end. In fact, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has come under the spotlight for the continuous increase of fuel prices.
In a tweet, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and vice president of the party, said that the decision was “strongly opposed” by her father. “Mian Sahib strongly opposed this decision and even said that I cannot burden the people with one more penny and if there is any compulsion from the government, I am not involved in this decision…” she said.
The opposition Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf led by former prime minister Imran Khan has hit out at the government.
Former finance minister Shaukat Tarin said that the coalition government had promised to bring down prices.