Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail on Friday said that he was “not supposed to” appear on national television the night before to announce a hike in the prices of petroleum products but he did so after being asked by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
His clarification on Twitter came after a clip of his appearance on a television show was shared. In it, he can be seen saying he will not be appearing on television again that night.
Speaking on Dawn News show “News Wise”, the finance minister said: “It is said whenever Miftah Ismail comes on TV, petrol prices go up. But I will not be appearing on television after this (show).”
In the show, which airs at 7pm, Ismail said that the “government will decide” whether prices will be raised July 1 onwards and that as of that point in time he has not been informed of any such decision. “And neither do I have this in my mind that I have to go announce it on TV.”
He also spoke of the petroleum development levy which the International Monetary Fund has advised be brought up to Rs50 per litre. The finance minister said that there are plans to impose the levy “gradually” and that “there is no deadline”.
About four hours later, Ismail and Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik briefed the media on a raise in petrol prices, to be effective starting midnight.
Explaining in his tweet what had occurred, the finance minister said: “I was not supposed to go on TV last evening to announce this. Another colleague was supposed to do this. But PM sahib decided that Musadik Malik and I should do that.”
With the fresh hike, the price of petrol will be Rs248.74/litre, diesel will be Rs276.54/litre, kerosene oil will be sold for Rs230.26/litre, and the price of light diesel oil will be Rs226.15/litre.