Friday, September 22, 2023

Pakistan govt to charge rich Rs100 more to fund fuel subsidy for poor

The government of Pakistan on Monday announced that it will charge Rs100 more for petrol from the affluent to provide relief to the low-income segments of society.

The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a relief package for the poor under which a subsidy of Rs50 will be given to them for every liter of petrol.

“We will make petrol expensive for the rich and cheaper for the poor … the higher prices being paid by the rich will be used to provide subsidized petrol to the low-income segment,” Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik said in a press conference.

The minister further elaborated on the subsidy and said that the government will increase the subsidy to Rs. 100, and the rich will be charged Rs100 more while the poor will be charged Rs100 less.

The subsidy program will be implemented within the next six weeks without any provision of subsidies, and the financing for the scheme will be accommodated through the tax rate that the higher-income segment would be paying.

Malik also recalled that a similar mechanism had been earlier applied in gas tariffs as well, under which the bills for the poor were reduced by three times as compared to those of the rich.

“A week back, the prime minister and Nawaz Sharif instructed us to separate the petrol price for the rich and poor … hence, as per these orders, we presented a scheme to the premier yesterday,” he said.

The entire basis of the subsidy is that people who are living in palaces and driving expensive vehicles pay a fair share for the commodities.

“We will take from those who have been blessed by God and give it to those who are striving to feed their families. This is our policy, and it will be reflected in everything else as well,” the minister said.

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