Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Friday said petrol prices in Pakistan are cheaper than the rest of the region and the world, adding that only 16 countries have prices lower that Pakistan, all of them being oil producers themselves. “There are only 16 other countries which have lower petrol prices than ours. They are oil producers and have their own oil,” the finance minister told a press conference in Islamabad with Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib. “Pakistan has cheaper petrol prices than other regional countries as well, such as India and Bangladesh. We are cheaper than the [rest of the] region and the world as well. Do we want to reduce it (petrol price) further? absolutely,” he said. Tarin said Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide oil on deferred payment to Pakistan. He said Saudi Arabia would provide $150 million to Pakistan on a monthly basis, and in two years, Riyadh would provide a facility of $3.60 billion to Islamabad. “This amount will be utilised to procure oil,” the finance minister said. He said the current issue was if the government reduced prices then it would have to pay out of its pocket to fulfil revenue requirements. He added that the petroleum levy had also been reduced to Rs2 to Rs3 per litre from Rs30/litre in 2018. “We are not even charging [petroleum] levy even though we have kept a target of Rs600 billion for it in the budget. But we and the prime minister didn’t care for it. The prime minister said that we can’t burden the people further so this is a signal [about] what feelings the current ruler has for the poor,” the finance minister said. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the government was making all out efforts to mitigate the impact of increased prices of commodities in the international market. He said that provinces had responsibility in controlling prices of commodities. He said that in the provinces where PTI was in power concrete steps were being taken to control prices and strict action was being taken against profiteers. He said that in Punjab, 20 kg bag of flour was available at Rs 1100 whereas in Sindh where the PPP was ruling for the past 13 years it was being sold at Rs 1400. He said such a big difference in prices of edibles was proof of the inefficiency of the ruling PPP.