PESHAWAR: The leaders of opposition parties and traders here on Monday criticised federal government for increase in prices of petroleum products and demanded withdrawal of the decision.

In their separate statements, ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan, PML-N provincial information secretary Ikhtiar Wali Khan and PPP provincial spokesperson Senator Rubina Khalid said that the repeated increase in fuel prices made life of people miserable.

The ANP leader said that on one hand government was increasing taxes as well as prices of petroleum products and gas that made life of the low income group miserable. He said that unemployment was increasing but government failed to devise an effective economic plan for solution of the core issues.

PPP threatens to launch protests against govt

“The government is collecting over Rs46 tax on per litre petrol which directly goes into the pockets of some people in the power corridors,” alleged Aimal Wali. He said that the frequent increase in prices of petroleum products was beyond imagination. He said government failed to fulfil its tall claims as it did not provide any relief to the poverty-stricken people.

“We have noticed that government increased the prices of petroleum products by Rs16 during the past two months. It is sheer injustice rather shameful,” said the ANP leader. He added that rulers were imposing new taxes on people and increasing prices of daily use items to meet their own expenditures.

Similarly, Ikhtiar Wali said that consumers were paying two types of taxes that included petroleum levy and general sales tax. He added that government increased the prices of petroleum products for the third time without giving any relief to poor.

“The government should take back the decision of increase in petrol and diesel prices. The ‘tsunami of inflation’ has made life extremely difficult for the Pakistanis. This time it has dropped a petrol bomb on people. This is going to cause a new wave of inflation in the country,” said the PML-N leader.

PPP’s Senator Rubina Khalid also criticised government, saying it had no capacity to control price hike and joblessness.” The government should withdraw increase in fuel prices and announce relief package for the jobless youth,” she said.

The PPP leader threatened that her party would start protest demonstrations against the price hike.

Meanwhile, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sherbaz Bilour said that increase in fuel prices would affect the traders as they had already suffered due to lockdown after outbreak of coronavirus.

Mr Bilour said that the frequent increase in prices of petroleum products would completely halt industrial development process that could trigger unemployment.

He said that continuous surge in prices of petrol products was reflecting anti-business and anti-industry policies of the government. He said that the decision should be withdrawn immediately.

He also demanded of the federal government to withdraw the decision of hike in power tariff and ensure uninterrupted power supply to industries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2021

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