Even though the Rupee appreciated by over Rs10 in the past ten days, the caretaker government on Saturday decided to increase the price of petroleum products by as much as Rs26 to add to the woes of the public.
In a notification issued by the Federal Finance Ministry early on Saturday, prices of petroleum products were increased by 8.58%.
The notification said that the price of petrol was increased by Rs26.02. The increase meant that the price of the essential commodity was increased from Rs305.36 to Rs331.38 for the next fortnight.
The price of high-speed diesel, which is used by trucks and other cargo vehicles critical to the supply chain of essential items, was raised by 5.56%. This meant the commodity's price was raised from Rs311.84 to Rs329.18 for the next fortnight.
In the notification, the government explained that the price hikes were due to the increase in the price of petroleum products in the international market.
There has been an increase of nearly Rs80 in the price of petroleum products in the past month and a half and nearly Rs60 since the caretaker government took over.
In his last announcement of petroleum products as the federal finance minister before the assemblies were dissolved, Senator Ishaq Dar had increased the price of petrol by Rs19.95, from Rs253 to Rs272.95. Similarly, the price of diesel was increased from Rs254 to Rs273.40 with an increase of Rs19.90.
Then, a day after taking over, the caretaker government increased the petrol price by Rs17.50 to take it from Rs272.95 to Rs295.45. The diesel price was also increased by Rs20, taking it from Rs273.40 to Rs293.40.
At the turn of the month, it again hiked prices of petroleum products, citing the rising cost of fuel in the international market and currency exchange variations. The petrol price was hiked by Rs14.91 to take it past the Rs300 mark for the first time in Pakistan's history. The price of petrol rose from Rs290.45 to Rs305.36. The diesel price was also increased by Rs18.44, taking it from Rs293.40 to Rs311.84.
As a result, the caretaker government has increased the price of petrol by Rs58.43 since taking over. In contrast, the price of diesel has been increased by Rs55.78.
Apart from one instance during this period, the price of petroleum products was hiked due to an increase in global prices. On the other occasion, on September 1, the variations in the price of the Rupee to the US dollar were also cited as the reason.