The two important developments so far this week are economic with the government struggling to cut costs and deal with the energy crisis.
- PIA Hajj flights
The first Hajj flight from Karachi left for Madina with 291 pilgrims. PIA has so far transported more than 2,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. The Hajj operation will continue till July 3. This year a million people are expected to perform the religious rite.
- Pakistan’s economic struggle
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is ramping up the rhetoric on how to fix the economy. This time he said that economic stability cannot be achieved without political stability. And so he urged all political parties to talk and honour the principle of allowing one party to complete its term.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has also been holding press conferences daily to explain what the government is trying to do to work with the IMF. He said on Tuesday that the former government had agreed to increase taxes on petrol. If this agreement had been followed, petrol would have been Rs 300 per liter at that time.
There was panic Tuesday night over petrol supplies in major cities.
The price of crude oil in the world market has crossed $120. As Pakistan struggles with austerity measures, the petrol quota of cabinet members and government officials was reduced 40%. Tea and cake has been cut off for government offices and Saturday’s holiday has been restored to save electricity.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said a proposal of Work From Home is under consideration.
By June 30, the load shedding will be reduced to two hours.