ISLAMABAD: With the cost of several food items reaching all-time highs, Senators raised their voices against inflation in Pakistan.
During the Senate session on Wednesday, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said there was an inflation tornado in the country. "The price of potatoes, onions and tomatoes are reaching the sky."
MQM Senator Tahir Mashhadi said people had great expectation from the government, but it had become impossible for the common man to afford a daily meal.
Meanwhile, ANP Senator Haji Adeel recommended that the salaries of higher judiciary, army officers and bureaucrats be decreased by 50 per cent. He added that country's atomic weapons were not safeguarding Pakistan, but it was the other way around.
Awami National Party (ANP)'s Haji Muhammad Adeel said the past government had announced relief package for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA due to heavy losses in war against terrorism. However, sale tax income tax reliefs under the package had now been withdrawn, while those, who had plundered national wealth, were being benefitted under the amnesty scheme, he alleged.
Adeel said industries in the KPK had been closed and businesses ruined due to bomb blasts and suicidal attacks.
He recalled such an amnesty scheme announced by the PPP government was opposed by his party.
He said self-austerity was the only way to control inflate Kamil Ali Agha of Pakistan Muslim League-Q said even the middle class could not pay even electricity bills. The price hike had made their lives miserable, while no solid steps had been taken to provide them relief, he alleged.
Taking part in the debate, Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said edible items were out of the reach of the poor due to high prices and the government must give them relief. It was the prime responsibility of government to create job opportunities for the people, he added.
He said domestic consumers were facing problems due to low gas pressure.
Senator Abbas Khan Afridi said it was the right of opposition to criticize but it should be creative.
He said a large number of people in the country were not paying tax, which was a major cause of price hike. However, majority of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa people were the tax payers.
He said the KPK people were mainly associated with two businesses of trade and transport, which were affected due to stoppage of NATO supplies.
Khalida Parveen said the government should make long term policies for agriculture.
She said Pakistan was an agricultural country but the prices of inputs, such as fertilizers, and agriculture machinery were high.
Saeed Ghani said printing of currency notes in large numbers was also adding to the inflation. -Agencies