In address to nation, PM Shehbaz announces reduction in fuel prices

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in his address to the nation on Thursday, announced that the price of petrol was being cut by Rs18.50 and diesel by Rs40.54.

The price cut, which takes place after four rounds of massive hikes under the current government, will go into effect at midnight tonight.

The prime minister began his speech by explaining that he had inherited a “troubled economy” from the previous government. “The previous government trampled on the agreement it had with the IMF and laid landmines for us,” he said.

PM Shehbaz said the PTI government, during its final few weeks, had slashed fuel prices even though the government’s coffers were empty. “This was done so our government would fall into difficulties.”

He explained why his government had to increase petrol prices after taking over. “With a heavy heart, and due to rising oil prices in international markets, we increased prices.”

The prime minister acknowledged that the decision had burdened the underprivileged segment of the society. “We had no other way. We had to take tough measures.”

“However, today with God’s blessing, oil prices are declining in global markets and it is by his mercy that today we have got the chance to reduce the prices,” he added.

PM Shehbaz indicated that the benefit of any further decline in global oil price will also be passed to the public.

He reserved special praises for Finance Minister Miftah Ismail for his part in reviving the loan facility with the International Monetary Fund but hoped that the current deal would be the last one. “After this, we will try to stand on our own feet.”

The prime minister said that the path ahead could be “thorny and difficult” but in the end, he said, “I reassure you that good times will come soon.”

Earlier today, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail promised the nation “relief” in petrol and diesel prices in light of declining global crude oil prices as well as the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

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