The sudden and massive increase in the oil prices has taken people by surprise, and they had a lot to say on social media amid the government and opposition’s conventional banter on basic utilities of life.
Unlike other days, Wednesday was different for the people as it was a test of their budgeting as they battled two things – firstly, they had to think about their purse and the vehicle’s fuel tank and secondly, they had to estimate the transport fare. After their day’s end folks were more curious at the fuel indicator rather than the minute’s hand on the clock.
The government like the previous two times jacked up the oil commodities prices late at night, with people getting to know about the development on newspapers and social media. The government raised the price of petrol by Rs12.03, taking it to a record high of Rs159.86 per litre as a global hike in rates takes a toll on oil-importing countries, according to the Finance Division’s notification.
The price of high-speed diesel was also increased by Rs9.53 per litre, with the new rate now becoming Rs154.15. The prices come into effect from February 16. “Despite the increase in the prices of petroleum products, petroleum levy and sales tax have been kept to a minimum,” it read.
As expected, the development didn’t go down well with the already anti-government opposition. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq condemned the hike and urged the people to join, probably in oil-run vehicles, in protests.
“PM Imran Khan has intensified the bombardment of inflation on the people,” Bilawal said in a statement. He said the long march starting from February 27 would take into account “every robbery committed on the pockets” of the people.
Shehbaz called on people to teach the government lesson on the “oil bomb” and Siraj announced his party’s decision to organise a countrywide protest against the oil hike on Thursday and Friday.
Over the years, people have been part of the protest through vehicles and such locomotives need fuel to run and this time it would also run but on the increased oil price against which they would be protesting.
Moreover, the preceding governments have also dealt with similar situations where they increased the oil prices and received opposition’s flak. Many times lawmakers in parliament have also talked about changing sides of the aisle and how leaders deal with situations and criticisms.
There were also hilarious reactions on social media, with users coming up with sarcastic explanations and one of them was from YouTuber Arslan Naseer. “So what do you think why Ertugrul was being shown? So that people travel through horses rather than vehicles,” it read.
Another user suggested giving the premier the title of ‘legend’ and shared PM Imran’s old tweet.
This user called it a day and decided to buy a bicycle.
This parody account of a minister sarcastically criticised the government and the premier.