“I had said there will not be any tax. I did not say that petrol price would be down,” he said while explaining his argument with journalist Hamid Mir on Twitter.
“I am standing by the government decisions and I think it’s a good decision,” he said and lauded the importers for paying a large amount of taxes.
The federal government has increased the petrol price by Rs6.72 and cut high-speed diesel and kerosene rates in the wake of fluctuations in oil cost in the international market and exchange rate variation. The new price of petrol is Rs233.91.
The new prices would be effective from August 16 (today), said the notification issued by the finance ministry. The HSD and SKO prices were reduced by Re0.51 and Rs1.67.
Miftah explained that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority increased the fuel price according to “plates”.
“After coming into power it took us time to understand the situation,” he said in reply to a query over the government’s apparent delay in taking the decision to increase fuel prices.
“If [PM] Shehbaz had not increased petrol price, it would have been a different press conference now.”
The government would send the new letter of intent (the document outlining the general plans of an agreement) from the International Monetary Fund today (Tuesday). There were some “minor edits” in the previous letter.
The finance czar expressed hope that a meeting with the International Monetary Fund was expected to be held at the end of this month.
He was of the view that the decision to ban imports led the rupee to appreciate against the dollar in the inter-bank market. “By the grace of God, we have controlled the dollar. Pakistani rupee and the stock market was the fastest growing in from August 1 to 15.”
Miftah stressed that the rupee should reflect the strength of the current account.
India has 60% more reserves than Pakistan and it was selling petrol for 303 rupees, he said while comparing the global inflation situation with the country’s financial situation.