Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced the federal government’s decision to further increase the petrol prices on Thursday. The meme game also went up on social media with the petrol prices going up.
Only a week after the last hike, the prices have climbed to Rs209.86 per liter for petrol and Rs204.15 per liter for diesel. The government increased the prices of petroleum products by Rs30 per liter on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the finance minister said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved hiking the rates of petrol, diesel, and light diesel by Rs30 per liter. However, the price of kerosene oil has increased by Rs26.38 per liter.
He acknowledged that the lower-income segment of society would be affected the most as a result of the petrol price hike. Additionally, he noted that the rate of oil has also sky-rocketed in the international market.
In response to a question, the finance minister said he was hopeful of reaching an agreement with the IMF in June. However, he stated that there were some reforms that the government still had to introduce. “The IMF wants to see our budget, so the reforms that we want to introduce will be introduced before the budget. However, we are speaking to the IMF on a daily basis,” he said.
Ismail said the price hike was inevitable as he had to strike a deal with the international money lender as ex-finance minister Shaukat Tarin had “tied the government’s hands” due to the agreements he made with the IMF during his tenure.
Netizens cope with memes
Once again, the hike in petrol prices has become a stealer topic on the internet. While the citizens are enraged by the government’s decision, they are not missing the opportunity to create memes about it.
This new “revelation” came just hours after the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) announced an increase in the price of power tariffs by Rs7.9 per unit. As inflation increases, Pakistanis find themselves with their heads in their hands, trying to figure out how to survive.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan called for a protest after Friday prayer to show the public’s outrage.
“I want everyone to come out and protest peacefully after Juma prayers tomorrow against this Imported govt’s anti-people policies of massive price hikes to crush the public and wreak economic havoc in the country since they have no stakes here as their assets are all abroad,” he tweeted.
The economic struggles of Pakistan in recent times are not hidden. Citizens are currently in sheer worrisome as inflation takes over the basic income of an average citizen.
The use of memes is, however, not new for citizens. Earlier as well, many used this form of expression to vent their frustration. Perhaps it has become a coping mechanism at this point?
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