Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet on May 19, 2023. — PID

The federal government on Friday decided to pass on the benefit of recent reduction in the prices of petroleum products to the masses in the form of decreased transport fares and prices of essential items.

The decision was made during a meeting of the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, days after the government had slashed the fuel prices by up to Rs30 per litre.

During the meeting, the premier directed authorities concerned to ensure that the impact of a reduction in petroleum prices is shifted to the masses. He asked the interior ministry and the district administrations across the country to ensure the reduction in commodities’ prices.

On May 15, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led federal government announced decreasing the price of petrol by Rs12 per litre to Rs270 per litre after a fall in the international oil rate.

The rates of petroleum products (POL) have been slashed by up to Rs30 per litre, as the government “tries to give relief to the masses during every fortnightly review”, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Calling for strict action against the profiteers, the premier said the transport fares and eatables’ prices should be reduced in proportion to the 11% decrease in the petroleum prices announced by the government.

Apprising the cabinet about his recent visit to Iran, the PM said Pakistan desired to enhance cooperation with the neighbouring country in multiple sectors.

He told the meeting that the two sides had agreed to improve the security along the 900km Pak-Iran border. Both sides had emphasised the joint efforts to counter cross-border terrorism, he added.

‘Low-cost electricity from Iran’

The premier said the import of low-cost electricity from Iran would help uplift the remote areas of Balochistan.

He said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took a personal interest to ensure the completion of the much-delayed 100MW Gabd-Polan power transmission line within record time.

The project would ensure the power supply to southern Balochistan, particularly Gwadar, he remarked.

Similarly, he said, the Mand-Pishin border marketplace would create employment opportunities for the people on both sides of the border and usher in a new era of development.

The premier told the cabinet that the Iranian president had expressed special interest in enhancing bilateral trade, besides discussing cooperation in the fields of agriculture, science and technology, and solar energy. A high-level delegation led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto would visit Iran for further deliberations on the said projects.

The prime minister also extended an invitation to President Raisi to visit Pakistan which he accepted.

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