Difficult decision | By Attiya Munawer

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Difficult decision

THE public could not bear shock of rise in electricity prices when government raised the price of petroleum products again.

According to government’s decision, the price of petrol increased by Rs 6.72 per liter and the price of light diesel by Rs 0.43 per liter despite the continued decline in petrol prices in international market and value of the dollar in the country, the government’s increase in petroleum prices is incomprehensible.

The decision of the federal government is so controversial that the Muslim League (N) main leader Maryam Nawaz has also rejected it and announced that she stands with the public.

Sadly, the government has dropped the petrol bomb knowing the plight of the people. The hopes of the poor have been killed in this bomb and the middle class people have also cried out.

While reducing the petrol prices on the part of the government, announcement of the increase is not surprising to the people.

This has started to cause anxiety and agitation in their hearts. People have rightly become concerned that on the one hand the stock market is continuously increasing, the rate of dollar is decreasing against the Pakistani currency and the price of gold is also falling rapidly and on the other hand, Saudi Arabia has extended the period of three billion dollar deposit for Pakistan on the request of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and has also decided to provide oil on late payment, despite this, what is the compulsion on the government that it has decided to accept the outrage of the people by increasing the petroleum prices even under favorable conditions.

Ever since the Muslim League (N) government came to power, electricity has increased by Rs.11 rupees per unit and petrol up to 70 rupees per liter, while in the previous period of power, all parties of the PDM have been marching against inflation.

When these allies came to power, they are causing the highest inflation and the poor people are being affected the most, the government can increase the revenue even by taxing the rich withal it has reached the point where even the vice president of the ruling party has apparently refused to accept the government’s decision.

The coalition government is targeting the people with inflation and Maryam Nawaz is claiming to stand with the people.

Will the people be satisfied with the mere statement of Maryam Nawaz that she is not supporting the decision to increase petroleum prices?

The people are never going to be swayed by such rhetoric, the people know very well that PML- (N)’s government is the one who has hammered the people to increase the petroleum prices and if the government is under any such compulsion, it should openly inform the people and try to satisfy them, otherwise the uncontrollable emotions of the people will fall on the neck of the government.

The government has formed a sixty-two-member cabinet and claims that it has to take tough decisions to get the country out of trouble.

Have they cut their expenses? Are the scope of taxes extended and the rich classes directly taxed? Nothing is being done on the part of the government except to fool the people on mere compulsion.

Instead of taxing the poor, it would be better for the government to focus on preventing unnecessary wastage of resources and pass on benefits of the reduction in oil prices in global market to common man.

—The writer is a contributing columnist, based in Peshawar

 

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