Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged citizens to "stay strong" in the face of rising inflation and promised that the country "will make it through this time".
The premier was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Mother and Child Hospital in Rawalpindi.
"It is absolutely true that right now, our people are [facing] difficulties. Power is expensive, gas is expensive. I understand that inflation [is rising]," acknowledged Prime Minister Imran.
"But what I want you to understand is this: why do prices rise? It is because power and gas sectors are indebted. When our government came to power, debts [of both sectors] had risen to Rs1,300 billion. You only have two ways [to tackle debt]: either you take more loans — and our power sector is already so indebted that we cannot borrow anymore money — and so we have to raise prices."
He said that the people will have to "live in difficulty" until the government "fixes the system" and repays the country's debts.
Prices of basic commodities have been raised multiple times since the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf came to power. The latest increase in food prices came just before Ramazan. Prices of petroleum products also saw a massive hike last week, causing the price of petrol to increase by Rs9.42 and kerosene by Rs7.46 per litre.
The prime minister, in today's speech, promised that his government would try its best to "fulfil the basic needs of the people". He said that the government will provide loans to young people so they can start businesses, provide cows and buffaloes to residents of rural areas, and issue health cards to poor people so they can access medical care. He pointed out that the shelter homes, that were introduced in Lahore and Peshawar, were growing in number and were providing shelter and food to people who could not afford to pay rent.
Prime Minister Imran also announced that work on the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme was underway.