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Govt rolls back POL price hike

Gilani announces decision in National Assembly
Parliamentary leaders taken on board; Opposition hails decision
Special Correspondent/ Agencies
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday announced restoration of prices of POL products to the level of December 31, last year and withdrew the latest increase announced by the government. Making a policy statement on the issue in the National Assembly, he said the decision has been taken in deference to the demand of the public, parliament and the political leadership.
He said the decision was arrived at the meeting of leaders of all parliamentary parties in Islamabad where they were briefed by the Finance Minister and other members of the government’s economic team on the petroleum prices and the overall economic situation. Prime Minister said there was consensus in the meeting that the latest increase should be withdrawn.

He said it has also been decided that a committee consisting of leaders of parliamentary parties or their nominees would be constituted within a week to formulate a strategy on what to do when prices of oil fluctuate in the international market.
He asked parliamentary leaders to nominate their representatives for the committee so that the issue is reviewed comprehensively.
Prime Minister said it was due to sagacity and concern displayed by the political leadership that the issue of POL prices has been resolved through consensus.
He said he was scheduled to hold consultations with the parliamentary leaders on Tuesday as decided by the House a day earlier but the meeting could not take place due to tragic assassination of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.
Leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan welcomed the announcement and said by doing so the government has responded to the woes of the masses.
He said people were facing economic difficulties and they were unable to bear the burden of hike in prices of POL products.
He also drew attention of the government towards gas load-shedding and its low pressure causing difficulties for domestic consumers.
Chaudhry Nisar also regretted that immediately after assassination of the governor, some people have started describing it as a political murder.
He pointed out that Mian Nawaz Sharif himself went to Rawalpindi General Hospital immediately after hearing about assassination of  Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to express solidarity with the PPP.
Similarly Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif also rushed to the Federal Government Services Hospital where the governor was brought after attack.
The PML-N leaders wanted to attend the funeral prayers but PPP leader Raja Riaz pointed out that it would not be appropriate.


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