Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday morning announced a Rs35 increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, in a televised address just minutes before the new prices went into force.
In the address, which began at 10:50am, Dar unveiled the price revision that went into effect at 11:00am — 10 minutes later.
He said that speculation was rife on social media regarding an Rs50 increase in the prices of petrol and diesel. “Because of this, we have received reports of artificial shortages in the market.”
- Petrol: Rs249.80 per litre
- High-speed diesel: Rs262.80 per litre
- Kerosene oil: Rs 189.83 per litre
- Light diesel oil: Rs187 per litre
“The Pakistani rupee saw devaluation last week […] and now we are seeing an 11 per cent increase in the prices of petroleum products in the international market,” he said.
The minister recalled that in the last four months, from October to Jan 29, the price of petrol was not increased. In fact, he went on, the prices of diesel and kerosene oil were decreased.
“Despite international prices and rupee devaluation, on directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, we have decided to increase the minimum price of these four products.
“We have decided to increase the price of petrol and diesel by Rs35. The price of kerosene oil and light diesel oil has been increased by Rs18,” Dar said, adding that the new prices would come into effect at 11am today.
The minister further hoped that the announcement of new prices would dispel rumours about petrol supplies running dry.
Long queues at petrol pumps across the country
Ahead of Dar’s announcement, on Saturday, rumours of a massive hike in petrol prices resulted in long queues at petrol pumps in many parts of the country.
Reports shared on social media had said that the prices of petrol and diesel were expected to go up by anywhere between Rs45 to Rs80 on Feb 1.
“We saw a report on social media that oil prices will go up due to the surge in the dollar’s value and international petroleum rates,” Hassan, who queued at a petrol pump, had told Dawn.
Meanwhile, petrol was available at only 20 per cent of the pumps in Gujranwala, while severe shortages were also reported in Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Faisalabad, Geo News had reported.