- Ayub alleges PML-N government abandoned renewable energy projects of 4,000 megawatts
- Raja Pervez Ashraf says efforts should be made to ensure food security
(Karachi) Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan has criticised the opposition, saying the PML-N government, during its rule, inked expensive power agreements and the country continues to bear the brunt of it in the form of capacity payments.
Addressing the National Assembly's post-budget session on Monday, Ayub said the PML-N government also abandoned renewable energy projects of 4,000 megawatts.
He said that the PML-N government had scrapped renewable energy projects as it wanted to bring in LNG, but the PTI government had revived all these schemes, including solar energy. This, he said, will accrue a benefit of Rs4,000 billion to the country in the next 15 years.
The minister said the PTI government signed a cheaper LNG agreement with Qatar, which will help the country save 3.5 billion dollars in 10 years. He said that the government brought reforms on a large scale to improve the efficiency of the energy sector.
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak told the National Assembly that a country where there is no inflation would eventually stop progressing. He termed the opposition's criticism of the government over rising inflation a drama.
The defence minister said inflation and people’s lives are correlated. “Take a look at Europe or the US and analyse if there had been any price cuts in basic commodities. Countries, where there is no inflation, will eventually stop [progressing],” he stated.
He said he is also in the construction business for years in a private capacity. “I struggle to find people in this work, and the opposition still claims of inflation.”
Khattak said it seemed that the opposition has a strategy to repeat its lies so many times that they may sound like truth, adding that the year 2023 would reveal the results of the good work done by Imran Khan.
Speaking on the occasion, PPP leader and former PM Raja Pervez Ashraf said efforts should be made to ensure food security as it is vital for the development of the country.
He said the government has failed to grant incentives to the farming communities in the current budget. He called for withdrawing the proposal of granting arrest powers to the FBR, saying the initiative will only pave way for harassment of taxpayers.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said the Rs260 billion has been allocated for Ehsaas program which aims to provide assistance to the poor segments of the society. She said the PSDP worth Rs900 billion will help accelerate the process of development in the country.
PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif said the budget 2021-22 is not people-friendly as loans will be taken to meet the deficit. "If the economic indicators are on a positive trajectory, then why the prices of essential commodities are high?" he asked.
ANP's Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said a new NFC award should be announced so that the provinces could effectively fulfill their responsibilities. He said funds should be given for the development of tribal districts.