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June 16, 2021

QWP predicts POL, power tariff hike

PESHAWAR: The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) on Tuesday predicted that the government would introduce a mini-budget as it would be unable to meet the revenue targets set in the federal budget.

Speaking at a press conference here, QWP provincial Chairman Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said the government would rely on foreign loans, which would add up to the debt burden that has already soared to Rs38 trillion.

At present, he said, the per capita debt stood at staggering Rs172,727, which was proof of the flawed economic policies of the incumbent rulers.

Sikandar Sherpao hinted that the government would increase the power tariff in the mini-budget at the behest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Criticising the government for bringing in an ‘anti-poor’ budget, he said the government was flexing muscles to raise the POL prices by 26 rupees per litre to achieve the 610 billion petroleum levy target. “The POL raise is on the cards,” he said.

The QWP leader said the government had slashed the allocation of funds for the merged districts. At the time of the merger, the government had pledged to release Rs100 billion annually for 10 years to execute uplift projects in the ex-Fata, but it has allocated mere Rs54 billion for the merged districts, he said quoting the budget documents.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he added, faced Rs26 billion cut in funds under the Public Sector Development Programme. “This is going to hit the province in terms of development,” he said, criticising the provincial government for compromising on KP’s rights.

The province was not getting the charges for its water being used by Punjab and Sindh, he added. He said the National Finance Commission award could not be announced thus far, which has also deprived the province of its due share in resources.

Sikandar Sherpao said the government was trying to deceive the nation by sharing wrong figures about the so-called economic growth. He said rising inflation and joblessness had made life miserable for the have-nots.