PML-N, MQM reject POL price hike as unjust
02 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Friday staged a walkout from the National Assembly against the increase in petroleum products' prices.
They termed the recent hike in the prices "grave injustice" with the people already crushed by high inflation.
The session of the Lower House of parliament, which started late, met shortly for about 45 minutes because of Friday prayer. It could only take up one item on its agenda and left others, including the 23 Amendment Bill that envisages increasing minorities' seats in the national and provincial assemblies, for the second consecutive day. At the fag end of the session, lawmakers from the PML-N and MQM walked out from the House against the price hike in petroleum products' prices after speaking against it on a point of order.
MQM's Asif Hasnain called the increase in the petroleum prices unjust and pointed out that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) made the increase unilaterally without taking the special parliamentary committee for petroleum prices on board. "This is another move to cripple the lives of the people," Hasnain remarked while announcing his party's walkout from the House as a mark of protest.
PML-N's Pervez Malik also drew the attention of the House towards increase in prices of petroleum products and said that the hike was made at a time when people's purchasing power was getting squeezed due to soaring inflation. Malik said that the latest hike in petroleum products' prices at the end of tenure of the government's tenure is incomprehensible and walked out from the session with other party colleagues.
Meanwhile, PML-Q's Sheikh Waqas Akram, who is also a federal minister, criticised the Punjab government for withdrawing the police squad detailed to him for his protection because of security threats. He also asserted that extremists were moving freely in Punjab. Akram told the House that the police guards had been provided to him since the time of he was a student when his father and family was fighting against terrorists in his area. He warned that the Punjab government would be responsible if any mishap happened with him.
Speaking in the House, PML-N's Abdul Qadir Baloch deplored what he termed a malicious campaign against the parliamentarians in the name of fake degrees and said that parliamentarians are being insulted continuously on this pretext. Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Interior Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said that actions against beggary in the federal capital have proven ineffective because the crime is bailable and people involved in this activity get freed easily. PML-Q's Attiya Inayatullah urged that the relevant law on beggary should be implemented in letter and spirit.