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Pakistan's energy regulator seeks higher gas prices as currency drops

Gasoil News - Published on Tue, 21 May 2019

Image Source: World Atlas
Reuters reported that Pakistan's energy regulator has proposed big increases in government-set gas prices, a move that underlines the growing pressure on household budgets following a USD 6 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund. It will also increase the pressure on Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan, whose government came to power last year determined to avoid turning to the IMF as the nation struggled to control ballooning deficits and a looming balance of payments crisis. The IMF deal agreed last Sunday, which still must be approved by the Fund's board in Washington, has already begun to bite, triggering a stock market slide and a fall in the rupee to a record low of 150 versus the dollar this week.

With inflation already running at more than 8% and the central bank expected to hike interest rates on Monday, opposition parties on Friday announced plans for protest rallies after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Pakistani households have already been struggling, with the rupee down by around a third since the start of last year and many of the social welfare reforms promised by the government yet to be implemented.

Energy prices, which are controlled by the government, have been under heavy pressure as the currency has slumped with consumers also facing repeated supply outages.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 21 May 2019
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