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With petrol, diesel prices soaring past Rs 200 a litre Pakistanis talk of switching to bicycles

Petrol price soars in Pakistan, the worst is yet to come

Petrol prices in Pakistan have now breached the (Pakistani) Rs 200 a litre mark. On Thursday the government announced another round of fuel price hike of Rs 30 after increasing prices by the same quantum on May 27.

Petrol in Pakistan is priced at Rs 209.86 and diesel at Rs 204.15. The price hike has prompted many citizens to register their protest on social media including twitter, posting images of bicycles or even horse carts.

One netizen said, “Congratulations on double century of #Petrol I think we should bring back horse cart system now.” Another posted an image of a bicycle, saying “Future, Say no to #Petrol.”

Only kerosene oil price was increased by less than Rs 30 at Rs 26.38. It costs Rs 181.94 a litre.

Though the price hike was unavoidable as the Shehbaz Sharif government is negotiating a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund, it will hurt citizens who are already reeling under double digit inflation for months now.

In May, Pakistan’s consumer price index (CPI) stood at 13.76 per cent- the highest in two and half years. But what is worrying the Sharif government, which took over only in April, is that the worst is not over yet.

To add to the problem, the country is also staring at a full blown energy crisis. According to the News, the energy crisis in Pakistan has deepened as the electricity shortfall widened to over 7,000 megawatts.

The news organisation said that power division sources estimate that the demand in the country for electricity has surged to 28,200 megawatts amid the sweltering weather conditions while the power supply is 21,200 megawatts, with power shortfall surging to over 7,000 megawatts.

However, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced that China has agreed to refinance $2.3 billion. The assistance will provide a much needed breather to the cash starved country.

"Good News: The terms and conditions for refinancing of RMB 15 billion deposit by Chinese banks (about US$ 2.3 billion) have been agreed. Inflow is expected shortly after some routine approvals from both sides. This will help shore up our foreign exchange reserves," Ismail tweeted.

Earlier, Ismail came out with a series of tweets blaming the former Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government for the current economic mess. He noted that Pakistan has the third highest inflation in the world due to the “incompetence” and “corruption” of the PTI government. 

Also read: Pakistan's May inflation is highest since 2020 but the worst is yet to come

Pakistan is staring at a fuel crisis as supply chains blow up