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Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday firmly announced that the government would no more increase gas and electricity tariffs as the inflation had been controlled and the prices of the commodities would move downward now. Addressing a huge public gathering after distributing Kafaalat Cards among deserving people under anti-poverty Ehsaas program, he said: "I have decided not to increase the power tariff anymore because the people can't afford anymore. I have decided to take all possible measures to bring down the power tariff in any way."

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Nurul Haq Qadri, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Communications Minister Murad Saeed, Chairperson Ehsaas Program Dr Sania Nishtar, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman were also present on the stage.

The prime minister said the prices had surged in the past due to the contracts signed by the previous government, agreeing the purchase of power and gas at exorbitant prices.

The incumbent government was helpless due to such unjustified contracts and the subsidies, provided by the government swelled the circular debt, he added. He said the government would talk to the power producers, urging them to bring down the power prices and close down the plants which were producing costly electricity as no more burden could be shifted to the people and industries.

Similarly, he said due to the 15-year gas contract signed by the previous government, Pakistan was getting gas supply at higher rates in the world.

The prime minister told the gathering that the government had started rectifying the system to provide job opportunities to the people and bring down the inflation. "We have started rectifying the system now. Don't worry, difficult time is over. 2019 was even more difficult. Inflation has been controlled and the prices (of the commodities) will come down," he remarked.

The prime minister commenced his addressed by condemning the ongoing atrocities against the Muslims in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi.

He assured the eight million Kashmir Muslims living under lock down by the Indian occupation forces that whole of the Pakistani nation stood by them and prayed for their steadfastness.

He said he had been warning the world that if unchecked, the Modi's Hindu supremacist agenda would lead to bloodshed that had happened in New Delhi.

He reiterated that the extremist ideology would not only target the Muslims but other communities including Christians, Sikhs and Dalits.

The prime minister reiterated that all those who had create artificial inflation by hoarding the food commodities would be punished. The prime minister said the launch of Kafaalat Card in Mohmand area was in pursuance of the principles of Medina State which took the responsibility of its poor people including their education, health and employment.

Referring to the sacrifices rendered by the people of tribal areas, he said even they were the main sufferers of the law and order situation in Karachi.

He congratulated the chief minister and governor of KP over merger of tribal areas into KP and election in tribal areas as the elected representatives would highlight their issues at the parliament.

He told the gathering the government had selected Mohmand area for developing massive olive orchards to reduce the import bill for olive oil besides producing quality product.

Besides, a marble industrial estate would be developed in Mohmand to create job opportunities and all the components of Ehsaas Program would be available for the people of Mohmand to uplift them.

Moreover, he also announced that a project for water supply from Mohmand Dam to the area would be executed. He tasked Murad Saeed to ensure launch of 3G and 4G cellular services in the area.

To a demand for opening of Afghan border, the prime minister said the restoration of peace in Afghanistan would greatly benefit Pakistan particularly the tribal people vis-à-vis the creation of employment and economic activity.

The prime minister advised the people not to vote a party with corrupt leadership as the countries were not poor, for dearth of resources but due corrupt rulers.

Pointing out to the Sharif family without naming them, the prime minister said whole of the family had fled abroad. He said after he took up the Panama issue, he had faced multiple cases and six in the election commission and had produced 40-year contracts and documents in my defence.

"Did I flee to London? Neither did I flee nor complained of victimization. When someone does not commit corruption, he needs not to flee," he added.

In his address, Chief Minister Mehmood Khan said the government would fulfill all the commitment made with the tribal people including the absorption of around 30,000 Levies personnel in KP Police and enforcement of judicial system.

He said the allocation of Rs 83 billion for the tribal areas also went to Prime Minister Imran

Khan and assured the completion of multiple development schemes including water supply and road infrastructure. Moreover, the locals would be preferred in the non-technical jobs to be created during the construction of Mohmand Dam.

He also announced the construction of mega sports complex for Mohmand at cost of Rs 750 million and a grant of Rs 2 million for Mohmand Press Club. Dr Sania Nishtar said the Kafaalat Cards scheme would be launched in all four districts of Mohmand and to whole of province later on.

She said registration centers had been set up for inclusion of more deserving people in Ehsaas program. She said the Ehsaas Amdan program for transfer of assets to the poor people would be introduced in different KP districts including in South and North Waziristan.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2020


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