Governments try presenting the best possible pictures of the economy. I mean which political party would admit that the economic framework has weakened and that no real progress is being made.
However, there are a few claims that could be verified. For example, the claim by the government last week that the petroleum products prices in Pakistan are the lowest in the region. The claim was indeed a surprising one owing to the high amount of tax rates applied to the petro products.
The price of diesel which has a significant effect on the local economy as it is extensively used for commercial and industrial purposes, is second-highest in Pakistan, after India in the South Asian region.
Petrol is being sold at a cost of $0.76 per litre in Pakistan. Afghanistan tops the list of the South Asian nations selling the cheapest petrol as per globalpetrolprice.com—a very famous website. Afghanistan sells petrol at a price of $0.65 per litre.
This website keeps a record of the prices of petroleum products of one hundred and fifty countries and publishes them every week. As per the website, the diesel being sold in Pakistan was at a cost of $0.87 per litre as on the 12th of February, which makes Pakistan the second most expensive country for the diesel after India which sells at $1.03 per litre in the South Asian region.
Other regional economies which include Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan are selling the industrial fuel at a much lower cost than Pakistan. The website did not publish about the fuel prices in the Maldives.
Prices of the other countries of the region are comparatively higher as per the website.
South Asian countries depend heavily on oil import for meeting their commercial, transportation and industrial needs. Pakistan meets seventy percent of its total consumption via imports. The rest of the need is met via local production.
Since all the nations are the net importers—meaning that they are all price followers. The difference in prices is because of the tax charges at the marketing level, and provision of subsidy the government keeps for controlling inflation.
As per the reports of the Ministry of Petroleum in the National Assembly last week, Pakistan is charging high tax charges on diesel and petrol for meeting its profit target and to smoothly run the state affairs.