Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday directed authorities concerned to ensure that this week’s hefty reduction in fuel prices is passed onto the general public in the form of similar reductions in the prices of essential commodities and services.
On Sunday night, the government notified a Rs. 40 reduction in the consumer price of petrol and a Rs. 15 decline in diesel prices. The new prices would last for the next two weeks, and have attracted commentary from the public demanding a reduction in prices of essential commodities.
“Consequent to substantial reduction in fuel prices, I have directed the concerned authorities at federal and provincial level to activate a strict price control mechanism,” wrote Kakar on X, formerly Twitter.
“I urge all honorable chief ministers to ensure that prices of essential commodities and services are reduced correspondingly. All efforts should be directed towards transferring the benefit of reduction in petroleum prices to the people of Pakistan. Strict implementation be ensured,” he added.
In media interactions, the public has welcomed the decline in fuel prices, but lamented that commodity prices hiked as a result of the earlier price hike are not being reflected in a decrease in fares for public transport. According to the finance ministry, the fuel price decrease is a result of declining rates in the international market, as well as the rupee’s appreciation against the U.S. dollar.
The decrease comes as Pakistan’s inflation climbed to 31.4% year-on-year in September, primarily due to high fuel prices, energy costs and essential commodities. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has claimed the rampant inflation will “moderate” from this month, but it remains unclear what the impact of a conflict between Israel and Palestine would have in the coming weeks.