RAWALPINDI   -   The business community, law­yers, students, labourers and peo­ple belonging to various walks of life on Thursday have rejected the increase in prices of petroleum products and demanded the gov­ernment to immediately withdraw the decision.

They said surge in POL prices was fuelling price hike of other daily use items and edibles. 

They said the private pub­lic transport owners also started fleecing the passengers by charg­ing extra fare while the district government is not taking action against them. They threatened to hold a series of protest demon­strations against PM Shehbaz Sha­rif-led government if the notifica­tion of jacking up oil prices was not withdrawn. Shehzad Ahmed, a local businessman, said the move would hit the already destroyed industry hard.

He said that the oil prices are be­ing reduced in international mar­ket while the PDM government was shifting the burden of the surge in oil price to poor masses of Pakistan. “The government was making tall claims of reducing oil prices after getting loan from IMF but it was simply a lie as the fuel prices have once again jacked up by the anti-poor government led by PM Shehbaz Sharif,” said Am­raiz Ahmed, a lawyer.

He said the poor people of coun­try are also living a hard life due to sky rocketing prices of edibles and other daily use items and increase in oil prices would add salt to their wounds. 

“I am a labourer and hardly earn Rs 900 after working eight hours a days. It is impossible for me to feed my family and to pay rent of my house in the time of such a price hike,” said Riaz Ahmed add­ing that government has failed in providing relief to masses. He said prices of vegetables and other kitchen items are also high and in­crease in oil prices would further put burden on poor and middle class. Riaz demanded the govern­ment to reduce oil prices. Instead of providing subsidies or relief to poverty stricken masses, the PML-N government is crushing the poor with full power, said Ir­shad Janjua, a university student.

He said that it has become diffi­cult for middle class and poor peo­ple to make their both ends meet.

He said the government should immediately withdraw the notifi­cation of price hike in oil products or the masses will stage protest demonstration against the rulers.

“With increase in prices of pet­rol, the driver of school van of my children had started demand­ing Rs 3000 extra fare,” said Asma Bibi, a house wife. She said she would send her children to school on private public transport that charge a little bit low fare. Many other citizens also criticised gov­ernment for surging oil prices and asked the PM to decrease the pric­es of oil products.