President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said continued rise in fuel prices is resulting in miseries to the masses. The price of petrol and diesel has been revised upward for the fourth time in a month and a half which is having an impact on everything which is transported from one place to another, he said.
The former minister said that global oil prices have doubled within one year but it must be kept in the mind that oil prices were very low before but consumers were not given its full benefit.
He said that masses and the business community is not ready to buy the argument that government was actually providing relief to the consumers by not increasing the price of diesel as petrol much as it should have keeping in view the international prices. President PBIF demanded that the Government should not increase the price of fuel at every opportunity it gets and should not accept every condition of the multilateral donors which hit the poor the hardest.
He said that it has become difficult for poor to light their homes and cook food as any increase in the cost of petrol and diesel causes inflation as rising transportation costs make it more expensive to move food and other goods around the country. The immediate result of fuel price hike is increase in the prices of fruits and vegetables, dairy products and other items of daily use, he said, adding that government seems determined to keep increasing energy prices every fortnight to reduce budget deficit which will be unfortunate. Government should improve tax collection and bring the wealthy into the tax net instead of squeezing the poor.