Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that low-income segments would be given a subsidy of Rs50 per litre under the petroleum relief package.

The announcement comes days after the government increased the prices of all petroleum products, except the insignificant light diesel oil, by up to Rs13 per litre for the next fortnight.

The finance ministry said the increase was caused by an increase in Platts Singapore prices and the rupee’s depreciation over the outgoing fortnight.

With the latest review, the most inflationary high-speed diesel (HSD) prices made a new record, reaching Rs293 per litre. The HSD price adjustment directly impacts consumer prices because of an increase in transport costs.

The per-litre price of petrol was increased by Rs5 and that of HSD by Rs13. Since Jan 15, the government has increased the prices of HSD and petrol by Rs65 and Rs62 per litre, respectively.

PM Shehbaz, while chairing a meeting in Lahore on Sunday, said the petroleum relief would be given to low-income consumers who have motorcycles, rickshaws, 800cc cars and other small vehicles.

He said the petroleum subsidy programme would be initiated soon and a comprehensive strategy would be formed with the cooperation of relevant departments for its effective implementation.

The prime minister said motorcycles, rickshaws and small cars were used by low-income segments and the petroleum subsidy would give relief to the poor.

“The government is making efforts to help the poor despite its economic difficulties,” PM Shehbaz added.

Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik also briefed the meeting about the strategy for providing the petroleum subsidy.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adviser to PM Ahad Cheema, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Bajwa, the finance and petroleum secretaries and other high-ranking officials also attended the meeting.

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