Opposition MPs censure govt over petrol price increase

Lawmakers stage walkout from both houses of Parliament

By: News Desk      Published: 03:53 PM, 1 Oct, 2021
petrol price hike
TV grab shows lawmakers staging a protest outside the Parliament.

Opposition in both houses of parliament on Friday staged protests against the increase in petrol prices calling for its immediate withdrawal, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The members of the National Assembly staged a robust protest demanding the government to take back its decision of raising the POL prices. When PML-N leader and former defence minister Khawaja Asif announced a walkout from the house, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the house for an indefinite time. 

Opposition members censured the government for being insensitive to rampant dearness. They said people were already hard-pressed by the rising inflation. With the increase in petrol prices, prices of all other things would go up, they maintained. 

The opposition MPs deplored that the government after hiking POL prices, was all set to raise the power tariff that would unleash another wave of inflation in the country. They said New Pakistan had become a nightmare. They wondered why rulers were doing this injustice to people.

The PML-N, PPP and JUI (F) termed the present increase in petrol prices an anti-government move. 

Deputy Speaker Suri presided over the National Assembly session. 

When the question-answer session was started, the opposition launched a forceful protest flaying government over the petrol price hike. They raised slogans saying “Hike in petrol prices unacceptable”, and “Withdraw POL price increase notice”, 

The opposition members were holding placards which were inscribed with different kinds of slogans like “Costly petrol” and “Thief Prime Minister”. 

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Kh Asif chipped in pointing out since ministers were not present during the question-answer session, it was a disgrace to the house. With this, he announced to stage a walkout from the house.

On this, PTI MNA Ali Muhammad Khan said that everyday opposition pointed out the quorum. On this, the deputy speaker adjourned the house indefinitely.

Also Read: Shaukat Tarin defends rise in petroleum prices

After the NA session, the opposition also staged a protest outside the assembly building. 

On the other hand, in Senate the opposition MPs also staged a walkout asking Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to attend the Senate session.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said that opposition’s walkout from the upper house would continue till finance minister came here and explain things. 

Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presided over the Senate session. 

In reply to Senator Mushtaq Ahmad’s question, Shaukat Tarin sent his written answer saying that the GDP would grow by 1% during current year. He said our exports, imports and revenue collection were increasing which meant that economy was improving. He informed that in the FRDL Act, our threshold for debt-to-GDP ratio was set at 60%. But it’s true that in March 2021, our debt-to-GDP ratio raised to 79.7%. But it wasn’t the PTI government’s fault. It was the legacy of past government, Tarin contended. 

PPP senators Raza Rabbani and Yousuf Raza Gillani lashed out at government saying the government had increased petrol prices for several times. It is bringing mini-budget, gas price is also being increased, they deplored adding that it was a very bad situation. They were of the view that poor segment of society was being hit badly. They said if the finance minister was here, they would have talked about this. 

Bilawal rejects surge in petrol price

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has rejected surge in the petrol prices saying that the increase would add to already high inflation.

He deplored that after ruining Pakistan’s economy, the ruling party had sought a new way to raise money by increasing taxes on the petroleum products.

Bilawal was of the view that in the PTI tenure, people were denied any good news and any sense of relief. He deplored that loot and corruption were rampant in the country. He said the only beneficiaries in this regime were government’s ATMs.

He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to take a U-turn in the best interest of nation and revert his all policies at 180 degree angle.

Reporters Zeeshan Bhatti, Usman Khan, Saud Butt and Usman Javed Malik