The interim government has hinted at a decline in petrol rates next month, owing to the rupee’s appreciation against the dollar after a crackdown on illegal money exchangers and dollar hoarders.
“When the currency has stabilized, you will see its results, I am hopeful of the good news on the rate of petrol on October 1 that was increased due to the hike in currency,” Interim Commerce Minister and Industries Minister Gohar Ejaz told reporters alongside Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori in Karachi on Saturday.
Such a possibility was also shared by Power and Petroleum Minister Muhammad Ali in one of his press conferences. He attributed it to the rupee appreciation against the dollar after the crackdown on illegal money exchangers.
The interim first announced an increase of almost Rs18 per litre in the price of petrol on August 15. It again announced a hike of up to Rs18 per litre in fuel prices on September 1 and another increase in the prices of petrol by Rs26.02 per litre two weeks later.
The government had taken such a decision in view of international oil prices and the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund. But many criticised the interim setup over the fuel hike.
Earlier in the day, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi hinted at a decline petrol rates after rupee appreciation.
“By taking measures, our government got the dollar cheaper by around Rs35, due to which we could spend less money to buy petrol,” he told reporters at Karachi Press Club on Saturday.
Ejaz was sanguine about the decrease in electricity rates after the currency started returning to its actual value after the government started cracking down on illegal money exchangers and dollar hoarders.
“I don’t think there was a reason for Rs160 worth of dollar was at Rs286 or Rs305,” he said and blamed such a fluctuation in the currency rate for high inflation.
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The interim minister claimed that the country was on track for recovery and added that the government was looking for “low-hanging fruits”.
He reiterated that the country has a potential of $100 billion and the government was making a vision statement to achieve such a target in five years.
He shared that the fisheries had $446 million in exports, but the export of shrimp to the US was banned due to a lack of mechanism for the past six years.
“I think this is a country of at least $3 trillion in the next 10 years,” Ejaz said and highlighted the potential of Karachi in the country’s development.
The minister added that the country would soon have “good news” on the Special Investment Facilitation Council and mega investments from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were about to come to Pakistan.