ISLAMABAD (Agencies): In its final fuel price adjustment before the transition, the caretaker government in Pakistan has made significant changes to fuel prices. Let’s delve into the specifics:

  1. Petrol Price Increase: The price of petrol has been raised by Rs4.13 per liter for the upcoming fortnight, ending on March 15. This adjustment brings the new petrol price to Rs279.75 per liter, reflecting a 1.5% increase from the previous rate of Rs275.62. Petrol is widely used in private transportation, small vehicles, rickshaws, and motorcycles. Consequently, this price hike directly impacts the budgets of middle- and lower-middle-class households.
  2. High-Speed Diesel Unchanged: On the other hand, the price of high-speed diesel remains steady at Rs287.33 per liter. High-speed diesel plays a crucial role in the transport sector, and any increase in its price contributes to inflation. It powers heavy vehicles, trains, and agricultural machinery such as trucks, buses, tractors, tube wells, and threshers. Additionally, it indirectly affects the prices of vegetables and other essential goods.
  3. Kerosene and Light Diesel Oil: The government has not yet announced the prices for kerosene and light diesel oil. Kerosene is often misused by unscrupulous individuals who mix it with petrol. It also serves for lighting and heating in remote areas. Light diesel oil, on the other hand, is primarily consumed by flour mills and a few power plants.
  4. International Market Trends: Globally, both major petroleum products—petrol and high-speed diesel—have experienced slight fluctuations (ranging from 10 to 50 cents per barrel) over the past fortnight. The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) paid higher import premiums for petrol during this period. Meanwhile, the US dollar weakened by approximately 15 paise against the Pakistani rupee on February 28.

As Pakistan navigates these changes, the impact on citizens and the economy remains a critical consideration. The balance between affordability and economic stability remains a delicate challenge for policymakers. The decision to suspend weapons purchases from Israel and the ongoing tensions in the region further add complexity to the situation. Citizens and businesses alike closely monitor these developments, hoping for stability and prudent decision-making in these uncertain times.

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