The Pakistani government is reportedly planning to launch a new scheme that will provide a cheap petrol subsidy to the public. This move comes despite earlier promises made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that there would be no such scheme for motorcyclists and small vehicle owners. According to reports, the government has submitted a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet for approval. The proposal states that the government plans to collect up to Rs. 75 per litre from consumers, who are already struggling to pay the high price of Rs. 282/L.
This move has been met with criticism, with some calling it a political stunt aimed at keeping the ruling alliance’s popularity among the masses afloat. Critics also argue that the government is placing the burden of responsibility on the inflation-stricken public. The IMF has also raised concerns about the potential impact and misuse of this scheme. It’s been revealed that the deputy managing director of Pakistan had earlier assured the IMF that the government had no plans to implement such measures.
Last month, the government announced a subsidy of Rs. 50/litre for the lower-income segment of society. This move was aimed at making petrol more expensive for the rich and cheaper for the poor. Under the proposed cheap petrol scheme, the government plans to charge an extra amount from car owners. However, the government had previously rejected the IMF’s recommendation to provide a petrol subsidy for motorcycles, rickshaws, and cars up to 800cc.
While it is a good decision to provide relief to poor citizens, charging an additional amount when petrol prices are already high for citizens is a matter of concern. The government has stated that the scheme will make petrol cheaper for the poor and more expensive for the rich. However, the implementation of the scheme is not yet clear, and the government will likely provide further details on how the subsidy will be provided to the poor.