ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government has once again announced an increase in the prices of petroleum products, resulting in the price of petrol and diesel exceeding Rs 300 per liter for the first time in the country’s history.
According to the notification issued by the Finance Division, the government has decided to revise the current prices of petroleum products due to the rising prices in the global market and the increase in the exchange rate.
The price of petrol per liter has been increased by Rs 14.91, and the price of diesel per liter has been raised by Rs 18.44.
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinistryPak) August 31, 2023
As a result of this increase, the price of petroleum products per liter has crossed Rs. 300 for the first time in the country’s history.
Following the increase, the price of petrol per liter has risen to Rs 305.36, while diesel will now be available at Rs 311.84 per litre.
It is worth noting that not even a month has passed since the caretaker government came to power, yet despite this, prices have increased for the second time in a row. During this period, the price of petrol and diesel has gone up by Rs 35 per litre.
Earlier on August 16, the caretaker government had raised the per liter price of petrol and diesel by Rs 17.50 and Rs 20 respectively.
The second consecutive increase in petroleum product prices in less than a month has raised the risk of further inflation in Hosherba. Food prices continue to rise due to the ongoing depreciation of the rupee.
The ongoing devaluation of the rupee is not only increasing inflation but also compelling the central bank to raise interest rates to mitigate the effects of the local currency’s uncontrollable depreciation.
Speculations about interest rate hikes, economic uncertainty, and the continued depreciation of the rupee led to a stock market crash today, with the index dropping over 1200 points in a single day.
The benchmark SE-100 index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange recorded a decline of 1759 points or 3.8% at around 2:52 PM, pushing the index below the psychological limit of 45,000 to 44,485 points.
However, the KSE-100 index declined 1242 points to close at 45,002 points in the last trading session.
Analyst Ahsan Laghadi from Arif Habib Corporation echoed Raza Jafri’s position, stating that stocks fell due to economic uncertainty amid the rupee’s depreciation, coupled with the possibility of rising interest rates due to high inflation. This is the reason behind the decline.
Atif Ahmed, a currency dealer in the interbank market, mentioned that the rapid depreciation of the local currency is a concerning situation for the caretaker government.