Pak transporters threaten strike against fuel price hike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Transporters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have issued a warning of a potential wheel-jam strike in protest against the recent spike in petroleum prices, a move that has been widely rejected by the business community, transporters, and political activists, Dawn reported.
They have collectively called on the federal government to reverse the price hike that is adversely impactin the inflation-affected population, burning a massive hole in their pocket.
Transporters have expressed their readiness to unilaterally raise fares or initiate a wheel-jam strike if the government does not backtrack on the oil price increase. Khan Zaman Afridi, President of the Public Transport Owners Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, stated that they have scheduled a meeting of all transporter groups at the Haji Camp Bus Terminal on Monday, September 18, to make a decision regarding the strike or fare adjustments, according to Dawn.
Afridi emphasized that the substantial increase of over Pakistan Rupee (PKR) 330 per litre in petroleum prices has exacerbated the hardships faced by both transporters and commuters. He stressed the need to raise a strong voice against what he termed as “injustice.”
The transporters’ discontent extends across different unions, with approximately ten unions of various categories standing united against the government’s decision to hike oil prices, as reported by Dawn.
Pakistan caretaker government on Friday announced another hike in the prices of petrol by Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 26.02 per litre and high-speed diesel by PKR 17.34 per litre. The rise in the rate brings the price of petrol to PKR 333.38 per litre and the rate of high-speed diesel is PKR 329.18 per litre. Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance announced the increase in the price of petrol and high-speed diesel, according to Dawn report.
Furthermore, the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has also voiced its opposition to the record rise in petroleum prices, viewing it as detrimental to the national economy, businesses, and industry. The acting president of SCCI, Ijaz Khan Afridi, stated that the unprecedented surge in petroleum product prices would unleash a new wave of inflation, adversely affecting both the business community and the general public.
Afridi urged the caretaker government to reconsider the fuel price increase in the best interest of the economy, businesses, and industry. He warned that the SCCI, along with traders, would initiate a protest movement against the price hike.
Criticising the government’s perceived “anti-business” policies, Afridi expressed disappointment in the caretaker government’s endorsement of measures that have exacerbated the challenges faced by traders. He questioned how the national economy could improve when the business community grappled with uncertainty, according to Dawn.
The SCCI leader called for a comprehensive review of the government’s economic policies and urged consultations with chambers and other stakeholders to revive the struggling economy. He cautioned that the recent substantial increase in fuel prices would further burden businesses and industry amid rising electricity, gas, and raw material costs, increasing the overall cost of industrial production and businesses.
Afridi noted that the inflation-affected business community and the public, who have already protested against inflated bills, would suffer even more due to the significant fuel price hike. He urged both civilian and military leadership to play a proactive role in steering the economy in the right direction, emphasizing that failure to do so would worsen the economic situation.
Meanwhile, Dr Khalil Mehmood Khalid, a provincial leader of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, expressed resentment over the recurring increases in fuel prices and power tariffs. He called on the caretaker government to reverse these decisions, warning that if the hikes were not rolled back, the public would have no choice but to initiate street protests, Dawn reported. (ANI)