Home/ News / World/  In Pakistan, fuel 100 costlier for rich to fund fuel for poor

Days after the Pakistan government increased the petrol prices, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the ‘petroleum relief package’ for low-income segment of the crisis-hit country. Under this, poor people would be given a subsidy of 50 per litre on petroleum products. 

The government will finance the subsidy by charging 100 more from the affluent, said Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik as quoted by Dawn. 

Addressing a press conference here, Malik stated that the government will make petrol expensive for the rich and cheaper for the poor. “The higher prices paid by the rich will be used to provide petroleum subsidy to low-income people," the minister said. 

Later, the minister informed that PM Sharif ordered the authorities to increase the subsidy to Rs100 which means the rich will be charged 100 more, while the poor will be charged 100 less. 

The petroleum products at subsidized prices will be given to low-income consumers who have motorcycles, rickshaws, 800cc cars, or other small cars, Dawn reported. 

The increased petroleum prices have come into effect on March 16, 2023, and will be applicable till March 31 this year. The price of MS (Petrol) is 272 in Pakistan, and the price of High-Speed Diesel (HSD) is 293. The price of kerosene oil is 190.29 per litre, however, the price of light diesel oil has been kept the same.

On top of the increased prices, the rich people in cash-strapped Pakistan need to pay 100 more to finance the petroleum subsidy for the low-income group citizens in the country. 

Since January 15 this year, the government has increased the prices of HSD and petrol by 65 and 62 per litre, respectively, due to decreasing value of the Pakistani Rupee amid the ongoing economic crisis. 

The petroleum relief package will be implemented within the next six weeks without any provision of subsidies, as per Dawn reports. 

Malik further elaborated on how the scheme financing would be accommodated, He said that it will be done through the tax rate that the higher-income segment would be paying.

Notably, this is not the first time the Pakistani government has implemented the strategy. A similar mechanism was applied earlier in the gas tariffs as well.

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Updated: 21 Mar 2023, 10:29 AM IST
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