Gilani’s top budget priorities include electricity, not education

Published: May 18, 2012

Meetings will be held every day, all options will be considered to deal with energy crisis, announces prime minister. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE: “I have four priorities for the upcoming budget,” said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, listing them down as electricity, employment, no new taxes and relief to the agriculture sector.

“We will ensure that relief is provided to the agriculture sector and also to other sectors through the Benazir Income Support Program [BISP],” said Gilani while speaking to the media.

The premier also boasted that his government was the first democratic government of the country to be presenting the fifth budget.

“This will be unprecedented in the history of Pakistan…  We are not concerned with those who are criticising us.”

To deal with the energy crisis, Gilani announced that an emergency cell was formed during the special cabinet meeting which will “only and only” deal with electricity.

The special cabinet committee will consist of the finance minister, minister for water and power, petroleum minister, deputy chairman planning commission, governor State Bank and information minister, said Gilani.

“Meetings will be held every day. The information minister will be present there to give a briefing on the shortage of electricity. I want to assure you that we won’t leave any option in dealing with the issue,” he added.

The prime minister also said that around 3,600 megawatt (MW) electricity has been added to the national grid and the import of 1,000MW from Iran and 500MW from India is also in the pipeline. He added that the government is also looking forward to working on Thar coal, Diamer-Basha, Mangla and several other dams as well as hydel projects.

Accompanied by Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Gilani said that his government agrees with Hussain’s formula to deal with the crisis.

Senior Federal Minister Pervaiz Elahi, also present at the media briefing, said that the issue of electricity is not an issue for one party only, but is rather a nationwide issue.

Nato supply

The prime minister maintained that the Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) discussed the issue of reopening Nato supplies in light of the recommendations presented by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS). “We have not taken any final decision yet.”

“The president was invited to the Chicago summit and it was unconditional. The DCC, as well as the cabinet, welcomed the invitation, and endorsed that the president represents Pakistan in the summit.”

Ali Musa Gilani

When asked about his son’s involvement in the ephedrine case, Gilani said that his son, Ali Musa Gilani, was being accused because he is in politics. “Your hands will be black if you work with coal.”

He added that his son will face the courts to clear the allegations and they don’t need to be apologetic about it.

Long march

Gilani questioned how the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) can hold a long march against the government when the party itself is a part of the government. “They can’t hold a long march, they won’t hold it either. There is no dictator whom they will protest against.”

He further stated that if the PML-N wants to protest against the government, they should resign from their posts and join the opposition. “It is rebellious if the government itself protests against the government.”

He added that the government cannot be removed in a non-democratic way. “I can only be removed through a vote of no-confidence and the president can be removed through impeachment… If anyone is courageous enough then he should use this option.”

“The country suffers when governments are removed through conspiracies.”

Contempt appeal

“My legal team will decide about the appeal,” Gilani told reporters regarding the appeal he will file against the Supreme Court’s verdict which indicted him of contempt of court.

He added that the court had never stated that he was disqualified from his post.

“I did not commit any moral crime or any financial crime. I only followed the interpretation of the Constitution that was sent to me. I followed the Constitution – you can think it is a crime, but I don’t think so.”

Gilani added, “I will remain the prime minister till parliament allows.”

—————————————————————————–

Which of these two issues should hold greater priority for this year’s budget?

     View Results


Polls are non-scientific, reflect only the online audience and can be manipulated.
Loading ... Loading ...

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (19)

  • drfaizanpervaiz
    May 18, 2012 - 6:27PM

    what else we can expect from you Mr.X Prime Minister!! We know education wont help you in near future because it ll take time for better outcome!! but power in country that still i am not expecting would help you in building up your vote bank!!! Think for country not for elections!!!

    Recommend

  • naeem khan Manhattan,KS.
    May 18, 2012 - 6:40PM

    Where have you been Mr.PM, now that you are in trouble personally and your party is going to be trounced in the next elections, you are talking about electricity and printing more treasury notes. This gimmick is not going to work, you have lost your credibility long time ago. Please leave this unfortunate nation alone and let someone capable of managing country’s problems take over. You people have done enough damage to this country.Recommend

  • Not me
    May 18, 2012 - 6:42PM

    ET: think about it
    Electricity will get him votes Education will not
    Do you think politicians care about the future of the country?

    Recommend

  • Paindu
    May 18, 2012 - 6:53PM

    What’s new here, why would they ever give education a priority because the most of their votes come from uneducated poor masses who are promised roti/kapra/makaan and alot of other things in the speeches just before elections (These are obviously nothing but fake and empty promises). If they educate those people, they will have a better sense of understanding national issues and more importantly they will be more aware. But if that happens who will vote for this status quo ?

    Educated people make an effort to decide for themselves, the poor uneducated masses in the rural areas and villages are cornered by these people and their ‘vadera’ systems so by hook or crook they are forced to vote for them. If they cant force them, then they will stamp the votes themselves and drop it in their own boxes (That’s how they always win these by-elections). So this is NOT a democracy, this is a disgusting/shameless group of ppl using and abusing the people of Pakistan for their own self-interests.

    Vote for PTI or die a slow death thanks to these “democrats”Recommend

  • Khan
    May 18, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Reduce the military budget by US$3 billion and allocate it to the education sector.

    Recommend

  • Khan
    May 18, 2012 - 7:02PM

    @Paindu: ‘Vote for PTI or die a slow death thanks to these “democrats”.
    So if PTI comes into power it will be a ‘dictatorship’ and not ‘Democracy’.

    Recommend

  • let there be peace
    May 18, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Is there some rule that Pakistan’s prime minister must give at least one statement in media every day? Not a single day goes when I don’t see Mr Gilani’s picture on ET with some weird statement.
    Recommend

  • Injustice
    May 18, 2012 - 7:33PM

    If people got educated , then there would be no room for them.

    Recommend

  • nomi
    May 18, 2012 - 7:34PM

    Wish he had this kind of an enthusiasm when he took charge. He’s wasted 4 long years and now that elections are here, he is thinking about his vote bank. These guys have no respect for law, no sympathy with the nation, no remorse for the poor, no vision for the future, and all they are interested in is their seats. I say we vote out this incompetent !Recommend

  • yusuf
    May 18, 2012 - 7:44PM

    Stupid comments…….Do you think it is possible to study in darkness? students need electricity and load shedding becomes the biggest problem for poor in Summers.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad
    May 18, 2012 - 7:51PM

    Well both are needed and both are a necessity. The reason why these leaders do not want us to get good education is to keep us illiterate and thus deny us of our right to reason and question. Educated people will not elect these idiots and so keeping them illiterate is the way to go. This is the mentality of every leader, whether is bhutto, shareef or anyone else.

    Recommend

  • ismail
    May 18, 2012 - 8:36PM

    All basic requirements/ needs of the people should be addressed. No doubt, these should be prioritized as per the current needs of the Nation/Time. It has been bad luck that our governments never gave precedence to Education. And we being a voter also never demanded for it.
    If we observe our political affiliations, we shall observe that these are based upon our tribe/ cast system/ support from the respective political representative in the police system/ station along with courts (Katchery). Until we did not change the basis of affiliations to the political parties, we should not expect right policies/ decisions from the elected representatives.

    Recommend

  • Abbas
    May 18, 2012 - 9:01PM

    Well he has clearly shown that he has absolutely no idea how to tackle the energy crisis in Pakistan Even laymen seem to know more about the issues than he does. I was talking to a rickshaw driver today and even he said it is idiotic to keep printing money to reduce the circular debt.

    Height of incompetence.

    The poll is kinna silly. The only reason unemployment is increasing massively is because of the electricity crisis. If they solve it, good. But they won’t solve it no matter how much they compromise on the limited education budget there already is.

    Recommend

  • a&a
    May 18, 2012 - 11:07PM

    @Khan:
    “Reduce the military budget . . . . .???”
    .
    .
    Mr. Nobody dare to do that, at least the current lot . . . !!!!

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 18, 2012 - 11:50PM

    His constant reference to ‘ …if you work with coal your hands will get dirty ‘ should be questioned ‘ Does he mean that politics is a dirty business, because it’s not. It’s the corrupt people in politics that make it a dirty business.’
    Playing with words can be a double edged sword.

    Recommend

  • Paindu
    May 19, 2012 - 2:17AM

    @Khan When i said “Vote for PTI or die a slow death by these “democrats” I was using the term sarcastically in the sense that this govt and PPP have ridiculed the meaning of democracy. To clear it out, PTI will not be a dictatorship, it will be a TRUE democracy.

    Transparency International has reported that in these past 4 years there has been 8.500 Billion rupees involved in corruption, pls dont call this a democracy

    Recommend

  • bhai
    May 19, 2012 - 2:49AM

    4 years and they’ve done nothing…what will they do in rest of few months!

    Recommend

  • Moko
    May 19, 2012 - 3:29AM

    Pak should approach China for rental power.

    Recommend

  • wahab
    May 19, 2012 - 9:30AM

    ofcourse electricity should be priority.. having more budget for schools by federal govt wont help when there is 20 hours of loadshedding.. rather provincial governments should focus on education instead of giving away laptops,make labs in these unis!!Recommend

More in Pakistan