Opposition slams govt for gas, power rates hike

Blames PTI govts’ in centre and K-P for depriving the province of its due rights


Our Correspondent March 16, 2019
Blames PTI govts’ in centre and K-P for depriving the province of its due rights. PHOTO: ARIF SOOMRO/ FILE

PESHAWAR: Opposition benches in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government for price hike of gas and electricity.

PTI being in power in K-P and centre has deprived the province of its due rights, members of the opposition said at the provincial assembly session which started under the chair of Speaker Mushtaq Ghani.

Leader of the Opposition Akram Khan Durrani said: “our province is producing surplus electricity and gas, while both the ministries are charging higher rates from the people of K-P.”

The federal government under the leadership of PTI Premier Imran Khan, has not paid net hydel profit share despite repeated requests from his own provincial government.

Durrani said the centre currently owes K-P Rs45 billion as its share in net hydel profit, but it was being deprived of this right.

The leader of opposition asked the government to show their performance of the last five years.

The PTI government had allocated huge sum for the exploring gas reservoirs, where is that gas, Durrani boomed pointing out people in the province were left shivering in freezing cold due to loadshedding of gas in winter.

Whereas for electricity, he said, the government should bring into notice of the assembly that how much electricity they had produced since last government despite tall claims.

He urged the assembly speaker to call the chairman PESCO to brief the house, that how much they had produced in the last five years and also let the house know that how much was the current needs of the province.

Over the inflation, price hikes of the gas and electricity the parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party Sardar Hussain Babak said that Insafian government has deprived the province of its due rights.

He was also critical of absence of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan from the house while the assembly was discussing such important public issues.

“The actual amount of the share of K-P in the net profit the central government earns from the sale of electricity generated from hydropower plants in the province stands at Rs110 billion, but the PTI provincial government is afraid to discuss the issue with the central government, whereas the people at the helm of affairs in Islamabad will never want to see the payment going to provincial kitty,” Babak said.

JUI-F lawmaker Maulana Lutfur Rehman and PML-N’s Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota also targeted the provincial and federal government for runaway prices of basic commodities in the country.

People will be forced to steal for subsistence if prices of essential commodities continue to rise at the current rate, they said.

Official word

Replying the opposition benches remarks K-P Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said that the provincial government inherited the bad governance from the previous governments.

“The rates of the electricity and gas were determined by previous governments we only regulate these rates,” Yousafzai said.

He also targeted the ANP, PML-N and JUI-F saying that they were part and parcel of the previous governments in the previous eras and should face accountability over how much share of net hydel profit they had acquired from centre for the province.

He informed the house that for generation of economic activities, “we have focused on tourism.”

Regarding underdeveloped areas he said the government has allocated funds for the deprived districts of the province.

Later the speaker adjured the session until tomorrow.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2019.

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