Gov’t decides to maintain fuel prices in the country: Finance Minister

"I will talk to the International Monetary Fund [IMF] to find a middle ground," Miftah Ismail

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday dismissed speculations regarding an increase in the prices of petroleum products, saying the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has no immediate plans to hike the fuel prices.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the finance minister admitted that the government was in a ‘doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t’ situation’.

“I will talk to the International Monetary Fund [IMF] to find a middle ground,” he told reporters

He added that PM Shehbaz firmly believes that increasing petroleum prices is not an option considering the difficult position the people of Pakistan already find themselves in

However, taking to his official Twitter handle post the press conference, Miftah clarified that the government may revisit its decision of not increasing petrol prices “due to changing circumstances and international oil prices.”

Referring to Imran Khan’s criticisms of the current government over the plummeting value of the rupee, Miftah took a dig at the former premier calling him the ‘king of rupee devaluation’.

The minister also said that while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief boasts of having increased the country’s reserves, there was no evidence to support his claims. “Where have you put the money you speak of?”, he added.

He blamed the PTI government for being unable to curb the smuggling of wheat and petroleum, and ‘wrecking’ the economic stability of Pakistan. The verbal duel between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PTI leaders over the deteriorating economy continued as Miftah Ismail dismissed Asad Umar’s comments as ‘lies’. “I wish he wouldn’t lie despite his company”, he added.

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