Islamabad: The present government earned more than 300 billion rupees just with adjustment of the oil products in its last four and half years tenure as government revised the oil product prices every month and the trend of prices remained upward instead of providing relief to the common man.
According to details, the PML-N government which took the reigns of the government in 2013 after the general election, increased the prices of petroleum products that increased the prices and made the living of people very difficult.
The government in last four and half years earned more than Rs. 300 billion through revising the petroleum products. The government increased the price of petroleum products for 18 times in the last four and half years and for 21 times, the government kept the prices unchanged. In last four and half years, the government of PML-N provide relief to the people for just 14 times, that means out of 54 months, the government provided relief to the common man through decreasing the prices of petroleum products for just 14 times.
The government in its tenure so far instead of providing any relief to the people, has decided to increase the petroleum products with revising the prices. Despite all the claims of the government to improve the energy sector in the last four and half years, there has been very little improvement in this sector and due to load-shedding national economy is suffering badly.
The increase in the petroleum products is one of the factor that increase the over all price hike and it is the major source of increase in the cost of production, increase in the prices of transports, increase in the prices of vegetables and other house hold goods and made them difficult for the common man to live with respect and honour.
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) in its latest survey revealed that losses due to load-shedding and increase in the petroleum prices are still eating up a sizable share of the GDP and national economy is suffering over Rs. 15 billion per year.
President PEW Dr. Murtaza Mughal said average power shortfall remains 4000 megawatt while average gas shortfall is at 2000 cubic feet translating into losses to the national economy and the revision of the petroleum prices by the government every month added more problems for the consumers and manufacturers as the government increased the prices on most of the occasion in the last four and half year.
He said the scarcity of the energy and high prices of the petroleum products are still threat to the economy and the government had failed to ensure smooth, continuous and cheap supply of power and petroleum products to the industry as well as domestic consumers.
Referring to policies of the government to set up a number of new energy projects and import of LNG, he said there has been no relief to the people and they are still forced to buy costly energy and petroleum products and the government has failed to give due attention to efficient use of electricity and petroleum products for the benefit of the industry and consumers.
He said the increase in the petroleum products, always have a multiple impact on all the things, including transport, vegetables, fruits, house hold goods and even it also directly effect the prices of milk and milk products.
Dr. Murtaza said weaknesses on the distribution and pricing of the petroleum products along with transmission and distribution system of power have resulted in the losses of more than Rs 250 billion within last few years to the national economy as domestic demand of these products continued to increase annually.
He said there is importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, but due attention should also be given to increase the local production of oil and gas so that the demand for the imported products of the petroleum should be reduced and the increase in the prices of the petroleum products could not be affect the local industry and common man.
He said there has been a continuous increase seen in the consumption of petroleum products as there is shortage of electricity in Pakistan, therefore, the government should find alternative fuel as early as possible to reduce the burden on the import of petroleum products.
He said change in the exchange rate of Pakistani rupee against American dollar, is one of the major factor in increasing the petroleum products, therefore, the government should also take effective measures to ensure the stability of the Pakistani rupees against the foreign currencies especially the American dollars so that the government should not have to increase the prices of the petroleum products every month. He said the government should also take adequate measures and give incentives to the oil exploring companies so that the reserves of the country could be explored and the petroleum product prices could be reduced with the local exploration.