Thursday April 18, 2024

Public bemoans hike in prices of medicines, gas and electricity tariffs

By Khalid Iqbal
February 22, 2024

Islamabad:The residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Issa to take notice of the decisions taken by the caretaker cabinet regarding approval of increasing the rates of hundreds of life-saving medicines, electricity, and gas tariffs. The inflation-stricken nation, already struggling to meet both ends, braces for another power shock as it anticipates a tariff hike of Rs7.131 per unit on account of fuel cost adjustment (FCA) for February 2024.

The Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — The SCP website
The Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — The SCP website

The residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have decided to come on the streets to start protest demonstrations against rising rates of all items including life-saving drugs and utility bills. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is scheduled to conduct a hearing on February 23 concerning the adjustment of fuel charges for ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) in the last month.

People belonging to all walks of life showing strong concerns about the present situation told ‘The News’ how a poor man will survive in this country with this costly living standard. People are already facing the financial burden of utility bills and the cost of all food items. The caretaker cabinet has added fuel to the fire by increasing the rates of 146 essential medicines but nobody has taken any kind of action against it, and people strongly protested.

Muhammad Saeed, a poor man said that the caretaker cabinet should feel ashamed of its decisions. “It is pre-planned that caretaker government will increase the prices and newly established PDM-2 will be criticized for it,” he said. He said that people did not forget the poor performance of PDM’s 16-month government in the country.

Sheraz Ahmed, another citizen said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan should take action against the caretaker government which was continuously increasing the prices of all items. The bosses did not know how a poor man was dealing with all issues, he said.

Shadab Ahmed, a senior citizen said that people were tense due to the cost of living here in the country. Last time, the PDM government made tall claims to provide relief to the public but in vain. Unfortunately, all promises proved nothing and the PDM government broke the back of the public because of high living costs, he said. He also said that all wrong decisions were taken before the Supreme Court of Pakistan so the Chief Justice should take action against all these wrong decisions otherwise public would come out of their houses to lockdown all city areas in the coming days.