Fact-check: Are petrol prices at an all-time high in Pakistan?


On August 1, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), upbraided the ruling party for the uptick in petrol prices.

He told the gathered press, “Today, petrol prices are at an all-time high.”

Was the claim mere political sloganeering or was there some truth to his word?

Pakistan Fact, an initiative of the independent think-tank PILDAT that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and the media, dug deeper to fact-check Bilawal’s statement.

Ruling – True

On July 31, the government increased the prices of petroleum products for the month of August, which pushed the price of petrol (altron premium) to Rs117.83, wrote Pakistan Fact on its website. According to the archives of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), between January 1, 2006 – August 1, 2019, Rs117.83 is the highest recorded petrol price in Pakistan.

Prior to 2006, the group relied on data of the World Bank. That gave Pakistan Fact the “pump price”, therefore, the price at which petrol is sold to the public. The highest recorded pump price for gasoline was Rs 36.2 in 2004, as shown in the image below. Hence, petrol prices are indeed at their highest recorded value.


Photo: World Bank



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