By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Hammad Azhar announced on Wednesday that the government decided to cut prices of petrol and diesel.
“This decision is not related to the ECC [meeting that took place] but the first decision we have taken, after consultations with the prime minister, we will reduce the prices of petrol and diesel,” said Hammad Azhar during a news conference. “The price of petrol will be slashed by Rs1.5 per litre while the price of diesel will be slashed by Rs3 per litre. We took this decision because now, we have some room due to a change in prices at the international market,” he said.
Moreover, Federal Finance Minister Hammad Azhar announced on Wednesday the government’s decision to import sugar and cotton from India.
The minister, in his first press conference since being given the finance portfolio, spoke about the high prices of sugar in Pakistan, saying the government had allowed sugar to be imported from other countries, however, the price of the commodity in other countries was also high like in Pakistan.
“However, in our neighbouring country India, the price of sugar is quite cheap,” he said. “Hence, we have decided to resume sugar trade with India”. He said the measure would help bring down sugar prices in Pakistan and will provide relief to the poor.
Azhar said the demand for cotton in Pakistan was also increasing and the country needed the product in a large amount. He said Pakistan had not produced quality cotton last year hence it had given the green signal for the product to be imported from other countries around the globe.
“However, the import of cotton from India was banned and this had a direct effect on our SMEs,” he said. “However, at the recommendation of the Ministry of Commerce, we have also decided to resume the trade of cotton with India,” he said.