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Opposition challenges government to rising electricity prices

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ISLAMABAD:

Opposition and government lawmakers in the National Assembly traded beards on Friday during a debate on rising inflation, especially rising electricity prices in the country.

Speaking, former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his sit-in marathon in 2014, burned the electricity bills and asked the population not to pay the bills electricity supplier to protest against an increase in electricity tariffs under the PML-N regime.

“Mr. President, should we pay the electricity bills now or not given that the PTI government recently increased the prices of electricity,” said Ashraf, who is part of PPP. President Asad Qaisar responded that it is the legal and ethical responsibility of every citizen to pay the bills.

Asharf said that before taking power, Imran Khan claimed he would end inflation and people would come to Pakistan to work during his reign.

“Imran Khan also said that Pakistan would become a country that offers loans; that it would build 5 million housing units and provide jobs for 10 million people. However, now the Pakistani people are justified in believing that they have been deceived, ”he added.

The PPP leader said the man who had already burned electricity bills after a price hike had raised electricity prices twice a week. “[Interestingly] when Imran Khan burned the bills, the unit price of electricity was 8 rupees, but now under his own rule, the price of electricity has jumped to 28 rupees per unit, ”Ashraf added.

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also criticized the PTI government for failing to introduce the Senate Elections Bill and the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) Amendment Bill to the National Assembly. He said not presenting the ordinances to parliament is against the constitution.

The prime minister’s adviser on parliamentary affairs, Dr Babar Awan, said the current session was called at the request of the opposition. “It is not necessary for prescriptions to be presented at the first session. However, I agree with the opposition’s request, ”he added.

In his ruling, the speaker said the government was required to present the orders on Monday.

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When the speaker allowed Federal Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan to speak, the opposition launched a protest. Addressing the speaker, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said: “You are breaking the rule. The house cannot function that way.

The speaker told Abbasi not to teach him what the rules are. “I know the rule, so don’t try to dictate to me.” Opposition members, however, circled the speaker’s dice and began chanting slogans.

Speaking amid the outcry from the opposition, Omar Ayub said rental power plants (RPPs) arrived in Pakistan during the very reign of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. “In fact, Qaisar Shaikh of PML-N has already answered the questions raised by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf,” he added.

He said Pakistan had been fined heavily in an RPP case but Prime Minister Imran Khan used his personal contacts to protect the country from the sanction. The minister said that the PTI government had put an end to corruption in the solar power sector and reduced the unit price to 6.5 rupees.

“When the last PPP government completed its mandate, the country only had two months of foreign exchange reserves left. The same thing happened when the last PML-N government ended its mandate in 2018, ”the minister said. The speaker later adjourned the hearing from the house until 4 p.m. Monday.

Previously, Planning Minister Asad Umar had also criticized de facto PML-N chairperson Maryam Nawaz for allegedly saying eggs are sold in kilograms and not tens and called on the opposition to explain this statement.

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