Opposition in KP Assembly fears ‘anarchy’ over escalating prices

Published November 10, 2021
A view of a KP Assembly session in progress. — AFP/File
A view of a KP Assembly session in progress. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: Opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday feared that if the government failed to control the escalating prices of essential goods, then the country would slide into ‘anarchy’.

It also asked Prime Minister Imran Khan not to ‘deceive the people by blaming the previous governments for unprecedented hike in petroleum and food prices, and joblessness’.

With Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan in the chair, the house witnessed a heated debate on the rising cost of living in the country, especially due to the spike in the prices of essential commodities.

Heated debate over rising cost of living

Leader of the Opposition Mohammad Akram Khan Durrani began the debate saying people are extremely perturbed by the unchecked increase in petroleum products and kitchen items.

He said the people were unable to pay electricity bills as the power tariff had reached all-time high in history.

Mr Durrani said the Pesco would disconnect power supply, so the people would begin using electricity by force.

He said the costly Pesco electricity had made the people use solar energy for domestic and other uses.

The opposition leader said petroleum price had reached Rs148 per litre, which the people were unable to afford.

He said the higher petroleum rates had increased the cost of life, especially due to spike in food.

Mr Durrani said instead of making proper planning to steer the country out of crisis, the ruling PTI’s leadership was issuing ‘nonsensical’ remarks.

He criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for asking people to ‘show patience over high inflation and not to be afraid’, minister for Kashmir affairs Ali Amin Gandapur for ‘suggesting a reduced sugar consumption’ and Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani for ‘recommending the use of one bread instead of two’.

The opposition leader said the Imran Khan-led government first promised prosperity within its first 100 days but later extended the time to six months and was currently seeking two more years after three years rule for stabilising economy.

Participating in the debate, opposition MPA Inayatullah Khan said inflation affected the ruling and opposition parties alike.

“It is beyond my comprehension why the government increased petrol price to Rs146 per litre when its international rate is $86 per barrel. However, petrol was sold for Rs113 a litre during the previous government when its price in the international market was $113 per barrel,” he said.

The lawmaker said the country’s economy was based on electricity, gas and petroleum, so if their prices increased, economy would definitely suffer.

“If political parties take to the streets to protest the escalating inflation, they will have a direction and will be led by political leaders, and if the people begin agitating, then the country will descend into chaos and anarchy,” he said.

MPAs Naeema Kishwar of the JUI-F, Humaira Khatoon of the MMA, Ikhtiar Wali of the PML-N and Nighat Orakzai of the PPP also participated in the debate.

As the discussion on price hike was in progress, PPP member Sanaullah pointed out a lack of quorum in the house.

The chair ordered the ringing of bills for two minutes. The number of lawmakers present in the house didn’t increase prompting the chair to adjourn the session until Friday.

Earlier, the house passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Property (Removal of Encroachment) (Amendment) Act, 2021.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

LNG crisis
Updated 27 Jun, 2022

LNG crisis

Global LNG shortages have sent the fuel’s price spiralling to record highs.
Bloc politics
27 Jun, 2022

Bloc politics

USING the platform of the 14th BRICS Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made some interesting observations...
KCR dream
27 Jun, 2022

KCR dream

RAILWAYS Minister Saad Rafique has basically clarified what many a commuter in Karachi has known for long: true and...
Outlawing torture
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

Outlawing torture

Physical or psychological torture is now considered almost a given in police and intelligence investigations.
High-profile case
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

High-profile case

IN a ‘breaking news’ culture, it is not often that such a significant development in a high-profile case can be...
Daska redux?
26 Jun, 2022

Daska redux?

AS the clock ticks down on the by-elections scheduled for next month on recently vacated Punjab Assembly seats,...