Says Pakistan to resume trade with India
The government has decided to reduce petrol and diesel prices across the country by Rs1.5 and Rs3 per litre respectively, Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said Wednesday.
In a media briefing after a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee, he said that the minimum support price of wheat has been decided at Rs1,800 in a bid to bring relief to farmers.
The new prices will be effective from April 1. On Tuesday, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority sent a summary to the government recommending a Rs1.5 and Rs2.5 decrease in the prices of petrol and diesel.
A liter of petrol will now cost Rs110.35 across Pakistan.
The prices of sugar are rising across the world. “Pakistan has decided to import 500,000 tonnes of sugar from India to meet the shortage in the country and provide price stability,” Azhar said.
This will fulfill the shortage in the private sector and stabilise the price in the market as well.
Pakistan is importing cotton from all over the world except India. This is hurting SMEs (small industries) so we have decided that the country will open cotton imports from India by June this year, the finance minister said.
Azhar said that the reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan before the PTI government came, were based on borrowed money. "After we came into power, this money was cleared and an increase of Rs9 billion was seen in the reserves."
The minister said that the Pakistani currency is not dependant on dollars anymore.
"We know that people have high expectations from us. We are taking this responsibility and realise the challenges and gains in the economy."
Azhar added that he is in talks with the International Monetary Funds and the government has received its fresh tranche of $500 million.
The minister promised that all the policies of the government will focus on benefitting people. "Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions," he said. "Most of the time, these decisions are the right ones."