Opp parties move Parliament against surge in POL, power prices

Opp parties move Parliament against surge in POL, power prices

riceISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Tuesday submitted in both houses of parliament separate adjournment motions, seeking debate on increase in electricity and oil prices by the government.

In their motions, PPP, PTI, MQM, ANP and JI argued that the surge in prices was tantamount to dropping a bomb on people, saying it would lead to high inflation.

The resolutions called for immediate withdrawal of the price hike and holding of a debate on this important issue in parliament.

Opposition Leader in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah announced joint strategy of opposition against the raise in prices of petroleum and electricity by the government.

Awami National Party submitted an adjournment motion in Senate and Jamaat-e-Islami in National Assembly.

Senator Raza Rabbani warned that his party would launch an agitation if the government did not withdraw its decision.

PPP submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly’s Secretariat. The motion was submitted by Syed Naveed Qamar, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and other members of the PPP.

Similarly, PPP MPA Faiza Malik tabled a resolution on behalf of the party in the Punjab Assembly.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed termed the increase in petroleum prices oppressive for the masses. According to opposition parties, the increase in petroleum and electricity the masses would face cyclone of price spiral. The opposition parties said that the increase in petroleum and electricity prices should immediately be withdrawn.

Earlier, on Monday the government announced a sharp increase in electricity tariff for domestic consumers across the country.

For one category of consumers, using 100 to 300 units a month, the increase would be by an unprecedented 210 per cent.

In the first phase, power rates were increased today for commercial and industrial consumers.

The rates for ‘lifeline consumers’ using less than 50 units per month were kept unchanged at Rs2 per unit. Likewise, the tariffs of Rs5.79 for 1-100 units and Rs8.11 for 101-200 units also remained unchanged.

The government allowed only one-slab benefit when consumption moves into the higher slab of above 300 units per month. The average increase was more than 35pc after including 17pc GST.

The tariff for 101-300 units per month was increased by 72.6pc (Rs5.89 per unit) to Rs14.

Consumers in this category would not get the benefit of lower slab of Rs5.79 per unit and their electricity bills would effectively increase by almost 100pc.

The rates for the category consuming 301-700 units per month was increased by about 30pc (Rs3.67 per unit) to Rs16 per unit.

The tariff for consumers of more than 700 units was increased by 19.44pc to Rs18 from Rs15.07 per unit. The rates for sanctioned load of over 5 kilowatt and above were raised by 29pc to Rs18 per unit for peak-hour consumption and for off-peak by 52pc, from Rs8.22 Rs12.50 per unit.

Moreover, the prices of petroleum products were also increased from Rs4.12 to reach the selling price of Rs113.25 per litre.

High-speed diesel price would be increased by Rs4.69 per litre to Rs116.95 per litre from the existing Rs112.26, whereas the price of light diesel oil saw an increase of Rs2.81, and reached Rs101.24 per litre from Rs98.43.

Meanwhile, the price of kerosene oil went up from Rs105.99 to Rs108.13 per litre after an increase of Rs2.14, while the price of high octane saw an increase of Rs5.57 to Rs143.90 per litre from Rs138.33.

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