Power, POL price hike draws widespread scorn

  • PTI threatens to protest in streets, PPP in parliament
  • JUI-F joins list of opposition parties opposing PML-N move
  • Adjournment motions moved in NA, Senate against brutal price hike

Feeling the heat from the simultaneous raise in electricity and POL prices by the PML-N government, not only major opposition parties but some on the treasury benches also distanced from the PML-N, condemning the move and demanding provision of relief to strangulated masses.

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) decided to take to the streets to protest the government’s “anti-poor” move, while the PPP, ANP and others decided to vociferously oppose the decision in parliament and submitted adjournment motions with the National Assembly and Senate secretariats, respectively.

In an official statement, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said his party rejected the raise in power and petroleum prices and would register its protest within the assemblies and in the streets.

Khan said the government had become anti-people and has betrayed the mandate given to it by the Pakistani nation.

Khan said the PTI demanded the criminal and unjustifiable increase in electricity prices be reversed with immediate effect.

“We also demand that the government explain to the nation why fuel prices had been increased when international prices of oil declined during the month of September that led India to reduce petrol prices,” Khan said.

He also asked why the government was not prepared to cut its lavish expenditure, huge mansions and frivolous expenses.

Condemning the decision, Khan said a price hike “bomb” was dropped by the PML-N government on the people of Pakistan.

“The electricity price hike is an unprecedented increase never before seen in Pakistan and the middle class consumer has been hit the hardest. In some cases, the bills of middle class consumers will more than double as a result of this brutal price hike,” the statement added.

Khan said the continued increase in prices was “criminal” because it was not just making the citizens pay for the cost of electricity but also the cost of corruption and incompetence.

“Therefore, the latest increase in electricity and fuel prices is yet another step in the anti poor and anti-middle class policies of the PML N government.”

He pointed out that the first such discriminatory step was taken in the budget in which GST and other indirect taxes were increased along with the previous round of oil and electricity price increase, the forced devaluation of the rupee and the unprecedented note printing in the first three months of the government.

PPP leaders Shazia Marri, Dr Azra Fazl Pichuho, Naveed Qamar and others also submitted adjournment motions with the National Assembly Secretariat. Senator Mian Raza Rabbani also submitted an adjournment motion with the Senate Secretariat against the power tariff and POL price raise.

Even JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a major government ally in Centre, distanced his party from the government’s decision, adding that the raise in prices was unnecessary and that the government should provide relief to the people of Pakistan.

In a statement, Fazl asked the government to review its decision to raise the power and petroleum prices, adding that this would further burden already stressed people of Pakistan.

PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Pervaiz Elahi also rejected the price raise by the PML-N government, terming the move as anti-poor and ill advised.

Shujaat said the decision to raise electricity tariff and POL prices was a “drone attack” on the poor who were already facing difficulties in daily life. ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan also submitted an adjournment motion with the Senate Secretariat against the government’s decision.

ANP senators Haji Adeel, Dawood Achakzai and Afrasiyab Khattak also condemning the increase in prices of petroleum products, gas and power, calling it a cruel act of the government.




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