As Pakistan prepares for the general elections on February 8, there are fears about a probable spike in petrol prices around the country. According to media sources, following a string of successive reductions, the present government is considering a large increase in fuel prices.
According to the source, the government may announce a petrol and diesel price rise of up to Rs 7 between January 31 and February 15. However, the final decision will be made after taking into account the recommendations of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
If prices for petroleum products rise, it will be the first increase since November 1, 2023. Experts watching the petroleum sector predict a different outcome this time due to recent occurrences in the Middle East.
Last week’s attacks on oil vessels in the Red Sea by Houthis in the Arabian Sea caused a spike in global oil prices. This international development is expected to have an impact on fuel and diesel prices in Pakistan.
Petrol prices have risen significantly on international markets, from $83 to $89 per barrel in the last week alone. Similarly, the price of high-speed diesel increased from $93 to $97 per barrel, while crude oil rose from $76 to $80 per barrel.
Analysts believe that the Pakistani rupee’s stability versus the US dollar will offset the predicted increase in petrol and diesel costs, yet a significant spike in petroleum product prices is possible.
As the world deals with these changes, Pakistan’s forthcoming general elections add another degree of complexity to an already fragile political and economic scenario. The economic consequences of any decision on petroleum prices will surely be widely watched by the public.