Islamabad (September 24, 2018): Finance minister Asad Umar on Monday stated that federal govt has not burdened under-privileged class with hike in gas tariff.
He was responding to Shehbaz Sharif’s query in the National Assembly (NA) here in Islamabad today.
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Assad added that hike in gas tariff will not hit the masses. He said, “We plummeted tax rate on cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas. We will not let farmers to be affected by hike in gas price”.
Finance minister held Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) govt for mammoth Rs154 bln deficit in gas sector. He inquired how gas price had soared to Rs1750 from Rs1200.Earlier, addressing on Assembly floor, Pakistan Muslim League President and opposition leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the shortcomings of the mini-budget presented by Finance Minister Asad Umar, saying that the slashed funds for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) would affect growth and development.
“The PML-N government, under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, had increased the PSDP fund from Rs300 billion in 2013 to Rs800 billion in 2018.”
“In this mini-budget, Mr Asad Umar wielded an axe over the [PSDP] as well and reduced it to Rs575 billion. The difference of Rs225 billion is a very big amount!” he said.
Sharif said that the alternative solutions offered by Umar to cover up the difference — which included partnerships between public and private companies — were not practical.
“This is not how it is done Mr Speaker!” Sharif insisted, adding that PSDP can only be funded by the government.“The suggestion that you’ll use other methods to fulfill the goals that must be met by PSDP makes no sense. PSDP funds have been slashed by 30 per cent, which means education, health, infrastructure, even CPEC has been slashed by one-third!”
Sharif said that he had difficulty believing the assurances given by the information minister and finance minister that CPEC will not be affected in any way, since the project was part of PSDP.“I did not expect that a genius like Asad Umer would slash the PSDP like this,” Sharif said, expressing hope that the government will reverse its decision on the policy it has adopted.
He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) led government had failed its supporters by displaying nepotism and turning back on its election promises.