On August 1, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), criticised the Imran Khan government for the raising petrol prices in Pakistan
Speaking to media, he said: “Today, petrol prices are at an all-time high," according to news website geo.tv.
Zardari and Khan regularly exchange critical comments about each other’s political decisions and many overlooked the former’s remark as one.
However, on September 5, Pakistan Fact, an initiative of the independent think-tank PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency) that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and the media, has concluded that the comment might be true.
According to the organisation that describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit indigenous think tank focused on political and public policy research and legislative strengthening”, quoted data from Pakistan State Oil Archives and the World Bank, and concluded that the petrol prices have been the highest recorded in the country.
“On July 31, 2019, the Federal government increased the prices of all petroleum products for the month of August. This pushed the price of petrol (Altron Premium) to PKR 117.83 [Dh2.77]. According to the data available on Pakistan State Oil Archives from January 1, 2006 – August 1, 2019, this is the highest recorded petrol price in Pakistan,” stated PILDAT's website.
Whereas, when the petrol prices prior to 2006 are concerned, the organisation looked into data from the World Bank. According to PILDAT’s report, the data dates back to 1995. It states the ‘pump price’ - the price at which petrol is sold to the public.
The highest recorded pump price for gasoline was PKR 36.2 (Dh0.85) in 2004. Hence, the organisation concluded that the petrol price in the country might be at an all-time high.