POL prices to be lowered further next month
By: Muhammad Saleh Zaafir & Shoaib A Raja
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday announced a further reduction in the prices of petroleum products next month which would help check inflation and provide comfort to the common man. He vowed that the government would resolve the energy crisis as power loadshedding would be eliminated within three years.
He made these remarks after chairing a special committee meeting aimed at overcoming the shortage of energy and drawing up a roadmap for the purpose.The committee is headed by the prime minister and in its first meeting, far-reaching decisions have been made for the management of energy on an annual basis.
The government will lower the duration of power loadshedding from June-2015 and with every
passing year, it will be further reduced.
The year 2018 will not see loadshedding of any sort in any part of the country.He said that there was no quick-fix solution and the objective would be achieved in a gradual manner.He said it would be a service to the nation to resolve this problem and he was moving towards that direction.
The prime minister, while offering his remarks on the occasion, said that the reduction in petroleum prices last month provided relief to the common man, since it helped in reducing public transport fares and the prices of other essential items.
He said that a substantial reduction in the prices of petroleum products would help check the price-hike. The reduction in the oil price would benefit farmers and people living in cities and rural areas by way of reduction in passenger fares and transportation charges.The prime minister expressed the confidence that prices of all items would come down.
We are determined to mitigate the sufferings of the people and I was delighted making an announcement regarding petroleum products’prices last month.
He said that the reduction in the rate of petroleum products had also helped farmers and the government would provide them further relief.
Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy.
The rates of grain and vegetables will come down while, at the same time, the government will ensure that expenses of farmers were reduced. The government has attached priority to the problems of farmers, he stated.
He regretted that the price of rice had gone down in the world market and it had impacted the farmers in Pakistan cultivating the paddy crop. The finance minister and minister for agriculture have been advised to look into the sufferings of farmers.
Nawaz Sharif said it was part of the agenda of the government to bring down the prices of agricultural inputs.He said that if cost of production was less, then it would not only benefit farmers but also consumers.
The prime minister said that his visit to China proved to be a great success. Unfortunately, the Chinese president had to visit Pakistan in September last but the so-called sit-ins subverted the trip. The guest president had to ink ‘game-changing’ agreements with Pakistan. “I was invited by the great friend of Pakistan for signing the agreements and we put seal on 19 agreements. Once the projects so agreed are translated into reality on the ground, it will change the fate of the country and its people, he said About the agreements signed with China during his recent visit to Beijing, the prime minister said these would be a game changer in true sense.
The projects costing billions of dollars would help tackle different problems confronting Pakistan. In this connection, the projects will play significant roles in eliminating electricity shortages forever.
The prime minister said that like the Pak-China friendship, Nawaz-China friendship was equally old.He claimed agitators and sit-in managers didn’t want that loadshedding should come to an end in Pakistan but “I am determined to get rid of it by all means.
Well-placed sources told The News it had been decided that from June next year, no unannounced loadshedding of power would take place in any part of the country and loadshedding would be uniform. The loadshedding from the next summer would be much lesser than what
people experienced this year, which was far less than what it was during the previous year.
The meeting took stock of the overall situation with regard to the supply of natural gas and availability of LNG.Federal ministers Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Shahid Khaquan Abbasi, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Prime Minister’s Secretary Javaid Aslam and federal secretaries
concerned also attended the meeting.
The committee will continue to hold its meetings periodically to overview the situation, sources added.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the government was taking steps to provide support to the agriculture sector.
While chairing a meeting on procurement of Basmati rice at the PM House, the premier expressed concern over the falling price of Basmati rice due to international factors and directed the ministries of finance and food security to submit a proposal for providing support to growers
by providing suitable subsidy.
He asked the Ministry of Food Security to consult the provincial governments and develop a system so that direct benefit of the subsidy might go to growers and not the middlemen.
He directed the ministries to come up with a plan within six weeks through which cost of agricultural inputs could be brought down to make growers comfortable in the local market and competitive in the international market.
He also directed to submit a proposal on provision of solar panels on soft loans for installation of tubewells for the agriculture sector.
Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Special Assistant to the PM Dr Musadik Malik, secretary National Food Security and secretary Commerce attended the meeting along with other senior government officials.
Source: The News