October 05, 2018: The Leader of the House in Senate Syed Shibli Faraz has said that structural reforms are needed in various sectors to improve economic conditions and ensure prosperity of the country.
Speaking in the House of Federation in response to a matter of public importance raised earlier by Leader of the Opposition, he said that economy of country was on `ventilator’ and prices of gas and electricity had not been increased for several years.
The circular debt has reached up to Rs. 1.3 trillion in power sector and losses up to Rs. 120 billion in gas department, he said adding that reforms are crucial at this stage to bring improvement.
The Leader of the House said that government cannot afford subsidy and also does not want to put the burden on the consumers. He said there are 9.5 million consumers of gas and there would be only Rs. 20-25 increase in the bill of domestic consumers.
However, he asked the Opposition lawmakers to cooperate with government for structural reforms and introducing legislation on it if required.
Earlier, the Opposition lawmakers staged a token walkout from the Senate against the government’s attitude for not taking the House into confidence regarding talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafar ul Haq said that delegation of IMF visited Pakistan from September 27 to October 4, 2018 for discussion with Pakistani government on economic matters. He said that Senate was not taken into confidence regarding this visit as Senator Mian Raza Rabbani also expressed his reservations on it.
Raja Zafar ul Haq said that increase in prices of electricity and gas is being reportedly under consideration after this visit which would make the life of the poor more difficult.
Following these remarks, he announced to stage walkout of the House along with other Opposition lawmakers. However, the Leader of the House Shibli Faraz succeeded to bring them back in the House after talks.
To another matter of public importance regarding non-permission to JUI-F to hold a political gathering in Bahawalpur, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that he had discussed the issue with Deputy Commissioner Bahawalpur who reported details regarding security issues in the area.
He said that meeting of the security stakeholders is going to be held today (Friday) to further review the matter.