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Tarin hints at another petrol price hike as IMF asks Pakistan to raise levy

ISLAMABAD – Amid the nationwide protests in wake of an increase in petrol prices, the Finance Minister hinted at an increase in the petroleum development levy on oil products.

Shaukat Tarin, speaking on primetime show on Saturday, said the global lender has asked Pakistani officials to increase the petroleum development levy saying it will depend on the global prices of petroleum products.

However, he mentioned that if the global price of oil goes down, it will be easy for Pakistan to increase the petroleum development levy.

Commenting on the record-high prices, he said the recent surge came in wake of rapid changes in the international market, where the prices touched their peak in recent times.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister ruled out any deadlock in the talks with the IMF, saying there is a single irritant regarding the autonomy of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) being currently negotiated upon, which he said will hopefully be resolved in the coming days.

On Friday, the government increased the price of petrol by Rs8.03 per litre, a day after PM Imran Khan hinted at the surge in petroleum prices. The new price of petrol stands at Rs145.82 per litre after the increase, according to a notification from the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court against the recent fuel price hike. The plaintiff argued that the recent surge in petroleum prices is ‘illegal’. He maintained that the increase in fuel prices was never approved by the cabinet which makes it unconstitutional.

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