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Agencies
March 10, 2020

No more hike in power, gas tariffs: PM

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A
Agencies
March 10, 2020

MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday firmly announced that the government would no more increase gas and electricity tariffs, as the inflation had been controlled and the prices of the commodities would move downward now.

Addressing a huge public gathering after distributing Kafalat Cards among deserving people under anti-poverty Ehsaas program, he said: “I have decided not to increase the power tariff anymore because the people can’t afford anymore. I have decided to take all possible measures to bring down the power tariff in any way.”

The Prime Minister said the prices had surged in the past due to the contracts signed by the previous government, agreeing the purchase of power and gas at exorbitant prices. “The incumbent government is helpless due to such unjustified contracts, while the subsidies provided by the government swelled the circular debt,” he added. He said due to the 15-year gas contract signed by the previous government, Pakistan was getting gas supply at higher rates in the world.

Khan said the government would talk to the power producers, urging them to bring down the power prices and close down the plants which were producing costly electricity as further burden could be shifted to the people and industries.

The Prime Minister told the gathering that the government had started rectifying the system to provide job opportunities to the people and bring down the inflation. “We have started rectifying the system now. Don’t worry, difficult time is over. The year 2019 was even more difficult. Inflation has been controlled and the prices (of the commodities) will come down,” he remarked.

Khan reiterated that all those who had created artificial inflation by hoarding the food commodities would be punished.He said the launch of Kafalat Card in Mohmand area was in pursuance of the principles of Medina State which took the responsibility of its poor people including their education, health and employment.

Referring to the sacrifices rendered by the people of tribal areas, he said even they were the main sufferers of the law and order situation in Karachi.He told the gathering the government had selected Mohmand area for developing massive olive orchards to reduce the import bill for olive oil, besides producing quality product.

Besides, he added, a marble industrial estate would be developed in Mohmand and a project for water supply from Mohmand Dam would be executed. He tasked Minister of Communications Murad Saeed to ensure launch of 3G and 4G cellular services in the area. Khan also announced the construction of mega sports complex for Mohmand at cost of Rs 750 million and a grant of Rs 2 million for Mohmand Press Club.

The Prime Minister expressed his heartfelt wish for lasting peace in Afghanistan, saying stability in the neighbouring country would not only bring relief for the Afghani people but also for the residents of Pakistan’s tribal areas. He assured that he will make all efforts to open the Afghan border so that trade can flourish in the tribal areas. He acknowledged that the opening of the border would also lead to job creation.

Khan advised the people not to vote a party with corrupt leadership as the country was not poor due to dearth of resources but due to corrupt rulers.

Pointing out to the Sharif family without naming them, he said the whole of the family had fled abroad. He said after he took up the Panama issue, he had faced multiple cases and six in the Election Commission, adding he produced 40-year contracts and documents in his defence. “Did I flee to London? Neither did I flee nor complained of victimisation. When someone does not commit corruption, he needs not to flee,” he said.

The Prime Minister commenced his address by condemning the ongoing atrocities against Muslims in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and New Delhi. He assured the eight million Kashmiri Muslims living under lockdown by the Indian occupation forces that whole of the Pakistani nation stood by them and prayed for their steadfastness.

He said he had been warning the world that if unchecked, the Modi’s Hindu supremacist agenda would lead to bloodshed that had happened in New Delhi. He reiterated that the extremist ideology would not only target Muslims but other communities including Christians, Sikhs and Dalits.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan said all promises made with the people during the election campaign will be fulfilled in letter and in spirit. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar also spoke on the occasion.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman, provincial ministers, provincial assembly members and relevant officials were also present on the occasion.