Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif will announce a relief package soon for those who are unable to afford fuel after a massive hike imposed by the government.

This is undoubtedly an excellent news for the lower-income strata, as the recent petrol hike has weighed heavily on the inflation-stricken masses.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced last night a gigantic increase in the price of oil products in an attempt to reestablish the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans to assist the country’s fragile economy.

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The decision was made in light of IMF guidelines, which required the removal of oil subsidies in order to restart Pakistan’s much-needed programme. On a talk show, Miftah Ismail slammed former Prime Minister Imran Khan for his contract with the IMF.

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“Imran Khan promised the IMF a Rs30 levy and a 17.5% sales tax on petroleum products,” he explained.

The government is losing Rs120 billion per month as a result of Imran Khan’s unilateral decision to provide petrol subsidies, according to the finance minister.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had to make a difficult choice. However, he will announce a relief package for those who cannot afford high fuel prices in his address to the nation today,” Ismail added.

According to Miftah, the government has already stated that the IMF programme will not begin unless petroleum subsidies are eliminated.

Miftah Ismail voiced concerns about losing political capital as a result of the current decision to raise fuel prices, saying, “honestly telling you, we have admitted that by deciding on hiking fuel prices, we will suffer politically, but this is our country, and we will sacrifice to fix its issues”.

Ismail acknowledged that the current increase in gasoline prices will shift the burden to the masses and increase inflation.

Miftah dismissed the possibility of a default, saying, “I’m guaranteeing two things: the IMF programme will be restored, and Pakistan will not go bankrupt”.