LAHORE: The opposition benches on Friday condemned the recent hike in the petroleum prices and in protest boycotted the house's proceeding.

The Punjab Assembly's session was delayed by over two hours due to the late arrival of legislators, but soon after Panel of Chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi opened the house for business, the opposition launched a strong protest against the hike in prices of petroleum products.

The opposition benches raised slogans against the government by shouting 'chor, chor (thief)' which invited a strong response from the treasury benches. While addressing the house, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Parliamentary Leader Syed Hassan Murtaza said that after every 15 days the government traumatises people by increasing the prices of petroleum products; "the government has made the lives of common man miserable".

He pointed out that after the increase, the government adopted a stance that our petrol prices are the lowest in the region, but they do not mention the income of other countries in the region.

He questioned the pledge made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to reduce the price of to Rs40 per liter. "The price of oil in the international market is decreasing whereas in Pakistan it is getting more expensive," he added.

He accused the government of hatching a conspiracy against the public institutions and subsequently to undermine the democracy; "by taking such steps, the government is trying to weaken public representatives and discredit democratic institutions, so that the people lose confidence in the institutions," he claimed.

While condemning the hike in the prices of petroleum products, he said that he is walking out of the house in protest. Criticising the opposition, Punjab Prosecution Minister Chaudhry Zahiruddin said that they could not bring democracy to their parties; even today their parties do not hold elections. He defended the government by saying that the prices of petroleum products are still low in the region.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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