Thursday Jun 16 2022
Web Desk

Change your habits, we must unite, says Kaira after govt hikes petrol price

Web Desk

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (right), Adviser to the Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira (left). — Geo News screengrab
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (right), Adviser to the Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira (left). — Geo News screengrab

  • Kaira says "govt had to make an extremely unwanted decision with heavy heart"
  • Khawaja Asif urges govt and people to make united effort to face current crisis.
  • Says govt will take responsibility to lessen inflation.

ISLAMABAD: Senior PPP leader and adviser to the Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Thursday said that "we must change our habits and unite" while responding to the latest petrol price hike.

The statement came during a press conference of Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif, flanked by Kaira and MNA Asad Mehmood in Islamabad.

"With a heavy heart, the government had to make an extremely unwanted decision," Kaira said, adding that the money from the national treasury started draining due to subsidies as the fuel prices increased when the incumbent government took charge.

He said that the experts and media were asking why the government was not making immediate decisions to stop the decline. He said that the government tried to avoid putting burden on the people and find a way to cushion them against the blow but it had no choice except to take tough decisions.

The politician appreciated that the public accepted the government's decision with a little protest.

He criticised the former finance and federal ministers saying that those who signed contracts with the IMF were saying that the fuel prices will exceed Rs300 and subsidies will have to be abolished. He said that they were correct because they knew the details of the contracts.

“No government wants to become unpopular among the people but what choice do we have?" he asked.

"Whether to become Sri Lanka or to make efforts to steer out of this crisis."

He said that only Pakistan is not facing such crises but the entire world’s economy is suffering.

“A labourer who avails Rs80 subsidy for one litre petrol while a land cruiser owner takes Rs8000 subsidy on 100 litre petrol. Can such a subsidy be continued?" he asked.

Have to make united effort to face current crisis: Khawaja Asif

Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif emphasised on a united effort to face the current crisis in the country.

The defence minister said that a huge amount of electricity can be saved if people start their businesses early in the morning and close by Maghrib prayers. He said that saving electricity means saving oil.

"Neither will we have to use expensive oil that much and nor will the consumers have to bear the burden of expensive electricity if we do this," he said, adding that it is just a fundamental change that people need to bring to their lives.

Asif went on to say that Pakistan will have to see what others around it are doing.

He said that 3,500 megawatts of electricity can be saved through this method and the amount will go over 4,000 MW if Karachi also follows it.

He, however, said that the traders are currently not willing to accept the suggestion.

“They accepted this during COVID-19 due to the fear of the virus," he said.

The minister urged the government to impose the restriction with all its will and the people to accept it.

"It will benefit the common man and acquisition of commodities at lower prices would become a possibility."

He said that the government will take the responsibility to lessen the inflation and difficulties of a common man.  He said that the fuel prices would go down if the Russian-Ukraine war stops.