Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Insensitive rulers increase prices every fortnight and say ‘ghabrana nahi hai’: Shazia Marri

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PPP MNA Shazia Marri — Twitter/@ShaziaAttaMarri
PPP MNA Shazia Marri — Twitter/@ShaziaAttaMarri

ISLAMABAD: PPP MNA Shazia Marri Friday criticised the federal government’s economic measures, saying the “insensitive rulers increase prices after every 15 days and say ‘ghabrana nahi hai’ (you must not panic)”.

Marri, while addressing a press conference with PPP leader Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, said that the federal government has “failed to provide relief to the people”.

She said that the rulers are “continuously lying” to people as prices are up to 40% higher in Pakistan when compared to international prices. Marri demanded the government take back the increase in prices of petroleum products.

While speaking about employees terminated from government institutions, Marri said that the PPP stands with such people.

“The employees should not be sacked until a decision on the review petition,” she said.

The MNA said that the PPP rejects the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next elections.

‘Deficit rising but finance minister happy with borrowed oil’

PPP leader Bukhari said that petrol is currently priced at $79 to $85 per barrel in the global market, adding that the trade deficit has begun to rise since the start of the current fiscal year.

“Deficit is rising in the country and the finance minister is happy over Pakistan borrowing oil,” said Bukhari.

He said that an increase in the price of petroleum products makes food items expensive. “Things are becoming inaccessible to the people, making them miserable,” he added.

Bukhari said that PPP will continue to protest against inflation.

Speaking about the matter of the extension of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman’s tenure, the PPP leader said that the federal government “does not have eyes for anyone else” than NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal.

“[It’s as if] the government has its foot on the NAB chairman’s tail,” he remarked.

Bukhari that his party will see to it that the ordinance for an extension in the NAB chairman’s tenure is rejected by the Senate.

Commenting on the EVM controversy, Bukhari said that PPP “does not have an issue with the EVMs, just the people backing them”.

‘When will gang that bombs people with petrol price hikes  be arrested?’

Earlier, the Opposition lashed out at the federal government in Parliament over a hike in petrol prices, with Marri demanding to know  “when will the gang that bombs people every month with petrol price hikes be arrested”?” Geo News reported. 

Marri demanded anyone from the government step forward and provide an answer to her question.

The National Assembly deputy speaker switched off Marri’s mic before she could complete as she continued to raise her voice in protest against the price hike.

Meanwhile, Opposition members in the Senate, too, staged a protest over an increase in petrol prices.

Senator Raza Rabbani said that the people were “bombed” with an increase in petrol prices twice in 15 days.

He said the current rate is the “highest petrol price in Pakistan’s history”.

At this, Leader of the House Shahzad Waseem remarked that the government has allowed a minor increase in petrol prices as compared to the rates suggested by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.

He said that even the oil-producing countries have witnessed a hike in petroleum prices.

‘Petrol in Pakistan cheaper than other regional countries’

Earlier in the day, Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin defended the hike in petrol prices, saying the rates of petroleum products in Pakistan are low when compared to several regional countries.

The petrol price in Pakistan moved up by Rs4 starting October 1 with the government announcing that it is “due to an increase in petroleum prices in the international market”.

A notification from the Finance Division said that “OGRA worked out higher petroleum prices but the prime minister decided against the recommendation and passed on the minimum increase in prices to the consumers”.

‘Sea of inflation’ to come

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz also lashed out at the government over its move to increase the price of petrol by Rs4 per litre.

“This people-enemy government has looted the masses,” he lamented. “The prices have increased by as much as Rs9 per litre over the past 30 days.”

He regretted that Prime Minister Imran Khan was signing “summaries dropping petrol bombs” on the masses, pointing out that the government had also hiked the price of diesel by Rs2 per litre.

“Does anyone in the government have a policy ready to deal with the sea of inflation that will arise [as a result of the petrol price hike]?” he asked. “The government should be ashamed of comparing petrol prices [in Pakistan] with those of neighbouring countries.”

He said Pakistan’s economy was not as vibrant or strong as its neighbours. “They have even increased the price of LPG cylinders for domestic use by Rs343,” Hamza lamented.

Criticising the government further on its economic policies, he said the US dollar was now worth a staggering Rs172, cautioning the “inept, inexperienced and corrupt” government that it will be held accountable by the masses.

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