ISLAMABAD: Senators on Wednesday urged the government to take concrete steps for controlling high prices of petroleum products, electricity and essential items.
Opening debate on the motion regarding the price-hike, Mian Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said the high prices of various commodities have affected common people.
He alleged that the proposed amnesty scheme would only to benefit the rich and elite class.
Rabbani said oil prices had decreased internationally and its relief should be given to the people.
He claimed that the parliament was being bypassed on the amnesty scheme.
Awami National Party (ANP)’s Haji Muhammad Adeel said the past government had announced relief package for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA due to heavy losses in war against terrorism. However, sale tax income tax reliefs under the package had now been withdrawn, while those, who had plundered national wealth, were being benefitted under the amnesty scheme, he alleged.
Adeel said industries in the KPK had been closed and businesses ruined due to bomb blasts and suicidal attacks.
He recalled such an amnesty scheme announced by the PPP government was opposed by his party.
He said self-austerity was the only way to control inflate Kamil Ali Agha of Pakistan Muslim League-Q said even the middle class could not pay even electricity bills. The price hike had made their lives miserable, while no solid steps had been taken to provide them relief, he alleged.
Taking part in the debate, Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashahdi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said edible items were out of the reach of the poor due to high prices and the government must give them relief.
It was the prime responsibility of government to create job opportunities for the people, he added.
He said domestic consumers were facing problems due to low gas presuure.
Senator Abbas Khan Afridi said it was the right of opposition to criticize but it should be creative.
He said a large number of people in the country were not paying tax, which was a major cause of price hike. However, majority of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa people were the tax payers.
He said the KPK people were mainly associated with two businesses of trade and transport, which were affected due to stoppage of NATO supplies.
Khalida Parveen said the government should make long term policies for agriculture.
She said Pakistan was an agricultural country but the prices of inputs, such as fertilizers, and agriculture machinery were high.
Saeed Ghani said printing of currency notes in large numbers was also adding to the inflation.