No increase in gas tariff for next few months: PM

Published March 13, 2021
PM Imran Khan speaks gives an interview to Al Jazeera. — Al Jazeera screengrab/File
PM Imran Khan speaks gives an interview to Al Jazeera. — Al Jazeera screengrab/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed the authorities concerned to maintain gas tariff for next few months to provide relief to consumers.

Chairing a meeting to review prices of wheat flour, sugar and other essential commodities, the prime minister called for intensifying efforts to facilitate the masses, particularly those belonging to lower class.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Mohammad Hammad Azhar, Syed Fakhr Imam, Omar Ayub and Asad Umar, PM’s special assistants Nadeem Babar, Dr Waqar Masood and Tabish Gohar, former finance minister Shaukat Tareen and secretaries and senior officials of different government departments.

The meeting discussed issues related to stability of prices of essential commodities, particularly flour, and measures to reduce the prices of sugar, gas and petrol.

Says Al-Qadir University to be made hub of Islamic research, character building of youth

The prime minister was given a briefing on the prices of petroleum products in the international market.

Special Assistant to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said that gas prices were increased on July 1, 2019, and now the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority had recommended six to seven per cent increase in its tariff.

The prime minister directed his economic team to ensure stability of flour prices till the government introduced the Targeted Subsidy Scheme.

He said a comprehensive programme was under consideration for provision of direct subsidy on flour to the poor people. The subsidy is aimed at providing financial relief to the weaker sections of society.

He stressed the need for timely import of wheat through public and private sectors keeping in view future needs.

The prime minister was briefed on the proposed measures to bring down sugar price.

The meeting was informed that under the Ramazan relief package, Rs7 billion had been approved for provision of essential commodities at subsidised rates.—APP

Hamid Asghar in Gujar Khan adds: Prime Minister Khan also addressed an interactive session with educationists, Islamic bankers, scholars and parliamentarians at Al-Qadir University, Sohawa.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the university would be made a hub of Islamic research and character building of the youth based on the golden principles of Islam.

He said the research to be carried out at the institution would be later disseminated to educational institutes across the country.

Two years ago, the prime minister had laid foundation stone of the university named after great saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, with the objective of making the institute a cradle of science and spirituality.

PM Khan said that currently Islamic Studies being taught at schools was beyond comprehension of students.

He said Al-Qadir University, which would start its academic activities by September, would make international Islamic scholars such as Syed Nasir Hussain and Hamza Yousuf part of its board for their worthy guidance.

The prime minister said that preparing knowledgeable and talented youth with moral strength was the need of the hour.

He emphasised the need for an education system that acted as means of self-development and a source of bringing about positive change in society.

He said knowledge was the main element that distinguished between human and animal species and emphasised the significance of literacy to meet the needs of contemporary world and hereafter.

Mr Khan called for academic research at universities with the purpose of benefiting humanity and said that it was time to prepare the youth to adopt best learning practices of international standards to acquire knowledge.

The prime minister said he wanted to establish a system at Al-Qadir University similar to that of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, a prestigious institute of the world.

He said the ideology of great Muslim thinker Allama Mohammad Iqbal was also based on the concept of founding principles of Islam that favoured ijtehad on issues by credible scholars of time.

He called for introduction of scholarships for hardworking and brilliant students at Al-Qadir University to help them carry out studies and contribute to development of the country.

Besides taking inspiration from the West in technological development, he said, there were several aspects of their culture such as truth and honesty that merited replication, except their flawed family system promoting disintegration.

Mr Khan said the corrupt practice of vote-purchase, as recently seen in [Senate] elections in Pakistan was out of question for the Western leadership and parliaments.

He said countries became failed states due to moral decline, not financial decline, and only a quality leadership of high moral calibre led a nation to success.

He advised Al-Qadir University to carry out research on the concept of Islam’s first welfare state of Madina that was based on the principles of socio-economic justice and high moral standards.

The prime minister, flanked by Minister for Science and Technology Chaudry Fawad Hussain and MNA Farrukh Altaf, planted a sapling on the premises of Al-Qadir University, where an olive orchard would be developed.

So far, construction of the Sufi and Research blocks has been completed at the university campus, while two other academic blocks, a hostel and faculty residences, are under construction.

Under the Miyawaki Urban Forest project, around 16,500 trees will be planted on the university premises, including 1,000 olive trees, and another 34,500 saplings would be planted in the vicinity of the campus.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2021

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