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Govt to refund 2.5 billion to Sui gas consumers: Fawad Chaudhry

20 March, 2019

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday said the government has decided to refund an amount of Rs 2.5 billion charged extra from the Sui gas consumers in the shape of inflated bills.

Briefing media persons after the federal cabinet meeting here, the minister said over 3.2 million Sui gas consumers were affected by overbilling. The committee constituted to probe the matter has found that the gas consumers are being overbilled since the fiscal year 2016-17. He said the inquiry is still underway and startling revelations are expected on its completion.

The minister said the federal cabinet strongly condemned the Christchurch terror attack, sympathized with the bereaved families and offered fateha for the martyred. It noted that hatred against Muslims is being spread in the West in a systemic way and stressed the need to initiate dialogue among civilizations to counter the menace.

Fawad said international leaders, including Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, visited Pakistan after assuming of the office by Prime Minister Imran Khan while Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad is scheduled to attend the Pakistan Day Parade. He said the government will pay special attention to the development of agriculture. Former minister Jehangir Khan Tareen has given a detailed briefing to the cabinet in this regard. The government, he said, has decided to spend Rs 290 billion on agricultural development and launch 18 schemes in the next five years.

He said imports of agricultural products has reached $4 billion, including edible oil costing $2 billion. The government has planned to launch a campaign for reducing the consumption of cooking oil to save precious foreign exchange, he added.

The government, he said, is also taking measures for the production of oil seeds, besides developing livestock and fisheries, which will help strengthen the economy of the country and increase per capita income.

The minister said the cabinet has decided to devise a uniform system for the appointment of heads of regulatory bodies, corporations and attached departments of ministries on merit. A committee headed by the respective minister will oversee the process and shortlist the names of potential candidates.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has been stressing on adopting austerity measures as the country is facing economic crunch.

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