Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif to announce 'relief package' today

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will announce a relief package for the poor in an address to the nation today (Friday). Sources privy to the matter said that the premier will take the nation into confidence over the prevailing economic situation of the country and shed light on the government’s decision to remove subsidies on petroleum products.

Apart from announcing the relief package for the poor sections of society, PM Shehbaz Sharif will also apprise the nation of the government’s next plan of action.

Last night, the government announced a massive hike of up to Rs30 in the prices of petroleum products for the revival of the $6 billion IMF loan programme.

Pakistan and the IMF failed to strike a staff-level agreement after holding week-long negotiations because the government was reluctant to withdraw unfunded fuel and energy subsidies.

The IMF had asked the government to move “urgently” and after his return from Doha, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail took the approval of the premier and announced an increase in POL prices.

Announcing the decision on Thursday, Miftah said increasing the price of petroleum products by Rs30 was not an easy decision for the premier, but vowed that the incumbent government would take steps to safeguard the economy.


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