Government Increases Petrol Subsidy for Low-Income Population to Rs100.The Pakistani government has announced an increase in petrol subsidy for the low-income population to Rs100, in an effort to ease the impact of inflation. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Musadik Malik, announced this decision in a press conference held in Lahore on Monday. The scheme was ordered by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and is set to be implemented within six weeks.
Petrol Subsidy Scheme
The petrol subsidy scheme aims to provide relief to low-income individuals who own small vehicles such as motorcycles, rickshaws, 800 cc cars, and other small vehicles. The relief will be given to low-income consumers who require up to 21 litres of petrol per month. This relief amounts to Rs100 per litre of petrol.
The government has emphasized that the relief package will be transparent, and a mechanism will be established to ensure that it is implemented efficiently. This is in line with the government’s broader policy to tax the rich and provide support to the poor.
Other Pro-Poor Measures
The government has also announced several other pro-poor measures, such as separating the gas tariff for the poor and the rich. The poor now pay one-fourth of the bill paid by the rich. Additionally, during the holy month of Ramazan, the government is providing free flour to the poor in Punjab. The government is also planning to introduce a third program for the poor in the coming weeks.
Dr. Malik emphasized that as long as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is in power, its policies will continue to support the poor. The government believes that the rich should contribute more to support the poor. The government will provide subsidies to the poor by charging higher prices for petrol to those who can afford it.
The Minister criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly considering himself above the law and the Constitution, and for resisting court orders with the help of violent mobs. Dr. Malik stated that there are two countries within Pakistan, one for the rich and one for the poor, and that the government stands with the country of the poor.
Gas Circular Debt
Dr. Malik also informed the press that the gas circular debt of Rs1,700 billion has been eliminated, and the government is working on the availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In response to questions about oil imports, Dr. Malik clarified that the government is negotiating with Russia for oil imports and that it had not yet placed an order. He stated that the government would make its own decisions about importing oil.
Dr. Malik announced that the government has publicized the record of Toshakhana gifts for the first time. The cabinet has also decided that the full market value of the gifts will be paid if anyone wants to take them from Toshakhana.
Finally, Dr. Malik commented on the alleged audio leak of a former chief justice of Pakistan and called for an investigation. He stated that if the audio leak is found to be real, cases should be registered against the accused.
The petrol subsidy scheme announced by the government is an important step towards providing relief to the low-income population. It is part of the government’s broader policy to support the poor and tax the rich. The government’s efforts to ensure transparency in the implementation of the relief package are commendable, and it is hoped that the scheme will be successful in achieving its objectives.