PM, COAS, ISI DG attend NCOC ceremony, says Asad Umar

Says govt provided maximum relief to masses

By: News Desk      Published: 03:55 PM, 18 Oct, 2021
PM, COAS, ISI DG attend NCOC ceremony, says Asad Umar
TV grab.

Federal Minister for Development and Special Initiatives and head of National Command and Operation Centre Asad Umar said on Monday that the top civil-military troika including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI DG attended a ceremony of the NCOC, reported 24NewsHD Tv channel.

The minister, however, said that no meeting could take place between the prime minister, army chief and the ISI DG on this occasion. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the PM Office has not notified the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as new ISI DG as suggested by the Army Chief Gen Bajwa. Prime Minister Khan wanted the incumbent ISI Chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to continue as the top spymaster. 

A farewell ceremony was held at the NCOC in honour of its Chief Coordinator Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman. 

The NCOC is upbeat about its achievement to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic as the coronavirus is receding in Pakistan. According to the latest statistics, the infectivity rate declined to 1.66% during past 24 hours with 11 deaths and 663 confirmed cases. 

Separately, talking to a presser in Islamabad, Umar said that the world has been confronted with an extraordinary situation. He was of the view that there was a surge in the prices of daily use items and energy all over the world. 

He said last year when the (world) economy contracted due to Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for things declined and along with it the shopping spree dwindled pushing the prices down across the globe. 

Umar said the global economy shrank tremendously. But in Pakistan, the government managed to control the situation. The problem in demand and supply hit Pakistan economy for a very short period of time. We opened industry producing necessary items very soon, the minister said, adding that as compared to rise in the global prices, price hike in Pakistan was minimal.

He said in one year’s time, the price of raw oil raised by 85% internationally while in Pakistan the increase was 17%. Similarly, gas price was hiked internationally by 135% whereas the Pakistan government did not raise the gas price for the domestic consumers. 

In global market, the price of edible oil was risen 48% and the raise was 15% in Pakistan and urea price was surged by 67% internationally while in Pakistan it was 28%, he added.

The minister said the government provided maximum relief to masses. He stated that people were also given relief on petroleum products when compared to a rise in their prices at international level. 

He claimed that in one year’s time, people were given billions of rupees relief in terms of PDF and levy reduction. He said that Rs260 billion were being given to the deserving people under the Ehsas programme. 

Umar revealed that sales tax on edible oil is going to be reduced from 17% to 8% while custom duty on it is going to be slashed on 10,000 per tonne to half which would reduce its price by Rs50 per litre. 

He announced that the government would try to fix sugar price at Rs90 per kilo, adding that the government was introducing a targeted subsidy programme. 

Umar, however, confessed in his presser that he still stuck to his earlier statement regarding an unjustified 52% levy on petroleum products. He said he still was of the view that in a poor country like Pakistan, people could not bear this surge in price.