NA witnesses heated debate on food, electricity, gas prices Inflation, price-hike real issues for common people MPs offers Fateha for Mushahid, Sadpara, forces’ martyrs

Staff Reporter

The National Assembly on Friday witnessed heated debate on food inflation and hike in electricity and gas prices that had been real issues for the people.

Speaking on the motion that this House may discuss the food inflation and gas and electricity prices, Qasir Sheikh said the people had voted the parliamentarians to discuss and redress their issues.

He said the people had lot of expectations from PTI-led government and added the opposition leaders Shahbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto had offered the government for charter of economy to resolve these issues.

He said the issues could only be resolved through joint and collective efforts and added that the PTI government came to power with the slogan to root out corruption and control inflation. He passionately called for focusing on these specific issues.

Taking part in the discussion, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that inflation was the real issue for common people.

He said PTI had contested the general elections on major issues : elimination of corruption, inflation and unemployment.

He said the government should now move forward and called for taking drastic measures to redress these issues for ensuring proper relief to people.

Federal Minister for Energy Omer Ayub Khan on Friday said present government was clearing liabilities of the previous regimes in the power sector that had been incurring huge losses to national exchequer.

Taking part in the debate in the National Assembly regarding inflation, he said that the previous government had somehow planted “landmines” in the foundation of economy.

He said that the annual capacity payment to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was Rs185 billion in 2013, Rs468 billion in 2018 and Rs860 billion in 2020, and it would surpass Rs1,455 billion in 2023. He raised question that why people were put on stake.

He said corrupt practices had been detected in every single contract signed by previous governments. He said present government had now eliminated corrupt practices in contracts.

The minister pointed out that there were only two weeks foreign exchange reserve by the end of PML-N tenure and added when the PPP completed its term, there were two months of forex reserves.

He said that exports did decline during past regimes that had started now showing upward trend due to the vibrant policies of the present government.

He said that the government was pursuing pro-business policies and these were being appreciated by business community.

He said the large scale manufacturing was now witnessing growth of 14.50 percent. The minister said the previous government allowed setting up of expensive power plants, ignoring indigenous resources of energy.

He said the present government was focusing to exploit the potential of renewable energy to produce inexpensive electricity. He said the agreement signed with the IPPs would help save Rs 800 billion.