Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a reduction of Rs 9.43 per litre in the price of petrol following a reduction in the international price of petroleum products and constituted a committee to ascertain whether Rs 65 billion reduction in circular debt was due to over billing or recovery of arrears.
The decision was taken by the Prime Minister while chairing a special meeting of the federal cabinet convened to evaluate the performance of cabinet ministers following criticism by opposition parties on government performance for the last sixteen months. The government has reduced price of each litre of diesel by Rs 6.18, high octane by Rs 14.68, and kerosene oil by Rs 8.16. The Prime Minister urged all provincial Chief Ministers to take initiatives to bring down transport fares after reduction in petroleum prices so that the public can benefit.
— Petrol price reduced by Rs 9.43 per litre
Nawaz stated that the government is reducing petroleum prices massively in spite of sit-ins and protests which caused a huge loss to the national economy. The government is moving towards economic stability, but sit-ins and protests disrupt the development process, he added. He said foreign investment in Pakistan ceased due to sit-ins and visits of foreign dignitaries, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, were postponed because of politics of protests. He regretted that the protesters want their demands to be addressed at D-Chowk of Islamabad.
The prime Minister stated that unemployment will be reduced in the country and new dams and motorways constructed as a consequence of an economic revival and contended that every government should be allowed to complete its five-year tenure. The Prime Minister constituted a committee to examine the issue of over-billing of electricity consumption and propose relief measures for domestic consumers (especially those belonging to lower and middle class). The committee headed by Finance Minister would have Interior Minister, Petroleum Minister, Water and Power Minister, Commerce Minister and Secretary Water and Power as its members.
The committee will be responsible for working out whether the reduction of Rs 65 billion in circular debt was actually the result of recovery of arrears/receivables or it was because of over-billing. The Prime Minister proposed an appropriate form of relief package for domestic electricity consumers. The committee’s terms of reference also include suggestions as to whether the relief package proposed by the Secretary Water & Power is practical; and if not, then another practical package should be worked out by the committee.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT