Imran to take nation into confidence on economy amid Ukraine crisis

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the nation today at 6:00 pm to take it into confidence over the evolving global situation in the wake of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, with a focus on its expected impact on the global economy and Pakistan, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry announced.

Economists are warning the crisis will fuel a sharper rise in inflation, despite the rising cost of living having already hit the highest levels for three decades.

With Russia, the world’s biggest natural gas exporter and second-largest for oil, the stakes are high in a global economy still hooked on fossil fuels — drawing parallels with the 1973 Arab-Israel war, or Yom Kippur war, and oil price shocks of the 1970s which led to galloping inflation and economic crises worldwide.

The address comes amid an expected hike in the prices of key petroleum products for the next fortnight, mainly because of higher international oil prices, application of additional petroleum levy and currency devaluation.

Brent jumped back above $100 a barrel on Monday, for the first time since 2014, initially surging more than $7, as the nuclear alert and bank payment constraints heightened fears that oil shipments from the world’s second-largest producer could be disrupted.

Russia accounts for about 10 percent of the global oil supply.

Quoting an official, a report in Dawn said the prime minister might like to postpone a further increase in petroleum levy, but with the next quarterly review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme only a few weeks away, his economic team wanted to follow the international price trend along with all the existing taxes to stay the course.

“I think he (prime minister) is going to make a very big announcement,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said while talking to the media in Jacobabad.

He advised the nation to “be ready” since the prime minister would “talk straight from the heart”.

Responding to the announcement, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb asked whether Khan, in his address, would seek an apology for his “false promises to the nation and false accusations he leveled at his political opponents”.

- Advertisment -

Must Read

Paint oneself into a corner

AT PENPOINT No case seems more relevant to the present imbroglio about the Punjab and KP Assembly elections than Marbury vs Madison, even though it...