'Judge PTI's performance after five years': PM defends petrol price hike

Premier Imran says his government is unable to take action against sugar hoarders due to legal hurdles


Rizwan Shehzad   November 05, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives to attend groundbreaking ceremony of a maternity hospital in Attock on November 5. PHOTO: TWITTER/PTI

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan has defended an increase in the prices of petroleum products saying that his government’s performance should be judged after the completion of five-year constitutional tenure in 2023.

He said this on Friday while addressing a public gathering in Punjab’s Attock district, where he laid the foundation stone of a maternal and child hospital.

The oil prices in Pakistan are lowest in the region, said the premier, adding that the sugar prices went up because the mills owners were involved in hoarding and evading legal action by securing stay orders from the courts.

PM Imran said top priority of his government was to uplift the downtrodden factions of the society and bring the provinces that were left behind in progress at par with others. “We would be successful if the weak people and provinces prosper after five years,” he added.

Reiterating that there will be no compromise on corruption of two families, the premier recalled that Pakistan was ahead of the other nations in the region during the first 30 years after independence.

“When I used to come back to Pakistan from India in the 1980s, I would feel that I have entered in a rich country from a poor country,” the PM recalled.

“Unfortunately, we were left behind in these 30 years… even Bangladesh went ahead in the last 30 years.”

“It will be decided after five years if poverty reduced in Pakistan... if we improved common man’s life and invested in the projects that would be beneficial for the next generations,” he remarked.

PM Imran said after a gap of 50 years, three mega dams were being built in the country by his government.

Also read: Opposition slams petrol price hike

Calling the next 10 years “decade of dams”, the PM said that 10 new dams will be built in the next 10 years, saying the biggest issue in coming years would be of water.

For the first time in 50 years, he said, the government was thinking about the future generations instead of next elections. He said that exports, the main revenue source, were increasing.

PM Imran, against the claims of his opponents, said people of Khyber-Paktunkhwa elected his party into power for the second time “which was unprecedented”.

“People voted for PTI because lives of common people had changed,” said the premier.

Inflation

On rising food prices in the country, Prime Minister Imran said that the whole world was facing the issue of inflation as the crisis triggered by Covid-19 pandemic was unprecedented in the last 100 years.

First, he said, the oil prices took a nosedive but then they doubled in the last three months.

“Everything becomes expensive when oil prices go up,” he said, adding that freight trade got 350 per cent more expensive; pulses, ghee and other items’ prices also went up.

“When oil prices globally went up the same happened here; Pakistan is also a part of this world; it’s not in the sky,” PM Imran said. The government was trying its best to provide relief to masses, he said, adding that one litre petrol price was Rs250 in India; Rs200 in Bangladesh and Rs146 in Pakistan, which is the lowest in the oil-importing countries.

Sugar

The premier, while admitting the sudden hike in sugar prices, blamed the Sindh government for it, saying it closed down three sugar mills.

Also read: Sugar price shoots up to Rs160 per kilo

PM Imran said sugar mills in Punjab involved in hoarding of the sweetener and the provincial chief secretary was unable to take any action due to legal hurdles.

PM Imran directed Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to immediately direct his law minister and provincial advocate general to challenge the stay orders so that actions could be taken against sugar hoarders.

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