Pakistan's gov't raises fuel prices
( AP ) - Pakistan's interim government raised fuel prices about 7 percent Saturday, a decision likely to spark public anger at a time when food prices are also rising.
The hike by the Pakistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority came as world oil prices continue to hover at record highs.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange traded at $110.21 a barrel at market close on Friday.
It was the second hike in state fuel prices in Pakistan in as many weeks. Before March 1, prices remained level for about 13 months.
A.R. Kamal, an independent economist, predicted that the fuel price increase would cause inflation, but said the rise could help the new Pakistani government cut deficits.
The price of gas rose 6.9 percent to 62.81 rupees ($1.03) per liter (0.26 gallons). Diesel rose 7.2 percent to a little over 40 rupees ($0.65) per liter (0.26 gallons).
The fuel price hike comes amid rising food prices, which rose about 14 percent in Pakistan in 2007. In Peshawar, the main city in the country's northwest, the market price of a 45-pound bag of flour has jumped from about $4.30 to $8 in recent months.