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PM directs to make comprehensive plan for providing relief to LPG consumers

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to formulate a comprehensive plan to provide relief to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumers.
The Prime Minister was chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Power here on Thursday to review issues related to the gas pricing system and electric tariff of K-Electric.
The Prime Minister also directed to defer an Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision to raise the tariff for K-Electric consumers by Rs 2.79 per unit. He also directed to fix gas prices on a sustainable basis.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the K-Electric matter and was apprised that the power utility was offered to provide additional supply from the national grid. However, it could not be implemented as the K-Electric system could not sustain additional power supply beyond the already provided 720 megawatts.
“We have provided K-Electric with 4,500 tons of furnace oil and further offered an additional supply of 500 tons fuel,” the Premier was briefed as the meeting discussed options to revisit an agreement between K-Electric and the federal government.
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the concerned officials to resolve power issues in Karachi on an emergency basis and said that the power utility should be provided additional electricity from the national grid before the K-Electric issues are resolved.
The meeting decided to increase K-Electric tariff in phases to bring it at par with other parts of the country to avoid any sudden additional burden on consumers. The meeting also decided that all facts regarding K-Electric tariff should be made public.
Federal Minister and MQM-P legislator Aminul Haque expressed his gratitude towards the Prime Minister for deferring the matter of hike in power tariff for Karachi consumers.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has also ordered accountability watchdog’s Karachi bureau on Thursday to launch an inquiry against K-Electric.
An inquiry should be launched for not elevating the electricity infrastructure in the city on modern lines, the NAB chairman said as he directed the Karachi bureau to acquire a copy of the K-Electric agreement with the government and ascertain if it was implemented or not.
Separately, Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar and Representative of Pak Aid Organization Najm-ul- Huda called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Thursday.
They handed over a cheque of Rs36 million to the Prime Minister as donation for construction of Diamar Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has said that Rs400 billion construction related projects will be initiated in the last quarter of the current year.
Addressing a press conference along with Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar here on Thursday, Faraz said a project envisaging construction of houses and apartments worth Rs145 billion will be started on the 20th October.
The information minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is giving special emphasis to the uplift of the construction sector in order to revive the economy as well as realize the dream of disadvantaged segments of the society to own their houses.
The information minister said those constructing five marla houses will be given loans on five percent markup and for the ten marla houses, the markup rate will be seven percent. He said that installments will be such that the people could easily pay.
He said additional Rs30 billion have been set aside as subsidy for the Naya Pakistan Housing scheme.
The information minister expressed satisfaction over the recent auctions of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), saying there is an enabling environment for the construction sector in the country. Faraz said the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development. It was attended by the country’s prominent investors and builders. He said the meeting discussed several proposals to uplift the sector including holding international roadshows for construction related projects in order to attract investment of overseas Pakistanis.
He said the Prime Minister has now decided to hold the meeting of the committee every two or three days keeping in view the importance of the sector which is both labor and capital intensive.
The information minister said the focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policies is the middle class and poor segments of the society.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said that the government has decided to expand the scope of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme. She said its budget is being increased from Rs144 billion to Rs203 billion. She said 16.9 million deserving families, which almost cover more than half of Pakistan’s population, will benefit from this scheme.
Dr Sania Nishtar said that distribution of cash assistance is continuing till the last deserving family gets the amount. She said Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme is the biggest social protection package announced in Pakistan’s history.
She said this programme is being commended at the international level under which cash assistance is being provided to deserving families in a transparent manner and beyond political affiliation. – TLTP