Pakistan govt considers withdrawing subsidy on petroleum products

Islamabad: The government of Pakistan, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, is expected to progressively phase out petrol subsidies, resulting in a price increase for petroleum goods over the next two weeks. According to reports, the Shehbaz government will remove the fuel subsidy on Sunday, ahead of Pakistan's meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the resumption of the USD 6 billion loan programme, as reported by Geo TV.

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, who was in London with Prime Minister Shehbaz, met with Nawaz Sharif, the party's supremo. The focus of these conversations was on developing solutions to help the country overcome its dire economic situation. To address the current financial crisis, Asif stated that "important decisions" will be made in the next 48 hours.

The government is currently subsidising petrol at Rs 29.60 a litre. According to people familiar with the matter, if gas prices do not rise, the fuel subsidy will cost the government Rs45.14 starting May 16. Furthermore, if the government decides not to grant subsidies and withdraws, the price of petrol will skyrocket to Rs 190 per litre.

Similarly, the government is subsidising fuel at Rs73.04 per litre and kerosene at Rs43.16 per litre. According to the media site, if the subsidy is removed, diesel and kerosene prices will rise to Rs 230 and Rs 176 per litre, respectively. If petrol and kerosene prices are not raised, the government will be forced to provide subsidies of Rs 85.85 and Rs 50.44 a litre beginning May 16.

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