The government Wednesday decided to slash the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs5 a liter from December 16 to provide relief to the people. According to a notification issued by the Finance Division, petrol will now sell at Rs140.82 per liter against the previous price of Rs145.82 per liter. The new price of HSD will be Rs137.62 per liter as against Rs142.62 per liter. Kerosene will sell at Rs109.53 per liter as against Rs116.53, while the new price of light diesel oil is Rs107.06 per liter against Rs114.07 per liter. The rates have been reduced amid fluctuations in the prices of petroleum products in the international market. According to the notification, the new prices will be effective from Thursday (today). The government has been facing severe criticism from the opposition, particularly after the premier approved a Rs10 increase in the price of petrol during the month of October. Major opposition parties, including the PML-N and the PPP, have held country-wide rallies and protests over what they term “unprecedented inflation in the country”. Inflation during the month of November soared to 11.5 per cent from 9.2pc, the highest increase noted in the past 20 months after a record hike in fuel prices. On November 5, the government had increased the price of petrol and high speed diesel by Rs8.03 and Rs8.14 per litre, respectively. This was the first time in the country’s history that the prices of all petroleum products were above Rs110 per litre.