Opposition parties flay hike in petroleum prices


–PPP, APML warn government of protests if decision not reverted

KARACHI/LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties, including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), on Wednesday flayed the hike in petroleum prices, saying the price increase would further burden the poverty-stricken masses.

The latest hike in petroleum prices was also challenged at the Lahore High Court. The petition filed by Azhar Siddiq advocate argued that the government was collecting additional tax on petroleum products, adding the increase in retail prices of the petroleum products was way more than the increase in the prices in the international market.

On Monday, the Oil and Gas Regulation Authority had forwarded a summary to the federal government, seeking an increase in the prices of POL products.

Terming the hike cruel, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said the government was creating difficulties for the people instead of providing them relief and demanded the government to withdraw the decision; whereas Bilawal also put his two cents in, saying the rulers were minting money by crushing the nation under extreme poverty.

Bilawal pointed out that the present government during the past four years had thrown the nation into the marsh of the loans, adding that it was high time that people rise up against the corrupts rulers.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while condemning the increase in PoL prices, said the party would raise the issue in the assembly.

In a statement issued by the APML, Secretary General Muhammad Amjad said an increase in the petroleum prices will enhance the production cost of everything and there will be a price hike for all the commodities of daily use. The increased price would further take away from the common man, the minimum facilities he is getting at the moment, he added.

The PPP and APML demanded that the increased must be retrieved at once, or they will launch protest throughout the country against this injustice.