Home General PM takes notice of hike in Sui gas bills and orders inquiry

PM takes notice of hike in Sui gas bills and orders inquiry

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LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday while taking notice of hike in gas bills, has directed Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

He directed the minister for petroleum to conduct immediate inquiry into the overbilling. The prime minister said that putting extra burden of gas prices on the masses was unjustified.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan held separate meetings with Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar in Lahore to analyse the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) proceedings in the Sahiwal tragedy, police reforms and other issues pertaining to politics and developments in Punjab.

Reportedly, upon his arrival in the city, CM Buzdar received him at the CM Secretariat where he chaired a high-level meeting. Moreover, he has reviewed effective measures to improve governance in the province including police reforms.

Importantly, the PM has pledged for legislation regarding establishment of water authority for the supply of clean drinking water to the general public.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of an authority to provide clean drinking water in Punjab.

The premier chaired a high level meeting at Chief Minister Office in Lahore on Sunday. Senior officials including Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq attended the meeting.

The Prime Minister also met the Punjab governor during a separate meeting earlier in the day. During the meeting, the PM Khan issued directives to ensure the availability of clean drinking water to the people of the province. “Legislation will soon be expedited to form the water authority,” he assured.

The prime minister arrived in Lahore Sunday afternoon for a day-long visit. The chief minister received him on his arrival at the CM Office.

Imran Khan also held a one-on-one meeting with the chief minister, who briefed him about the status of ongoing projects in the province.

In another development, the premier took notice of the hike in gas bills and directed Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan to conduct an inquiry into the matter. “It is inappropriate o shift the additional burden of gas prices to consumers,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan on Sunday warned the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to refrain from overbilling.

“The SSGC and the PESCO should refrain from overbilling. They should not create hurdles for the masses and the government,” Mehmood Khan said after people approached him to register their complaint against overbilling by the utility providers.

He said ignorance of the SSGC and PESCO created the issue of law and order. Both the organisations were accountable before the public and government, he maintained.

The KP chief minister directed both the utility providers to set their direction right. He said it was imperative to hold black sheep accountable in both the organisations.

In April 2017, Jamaat Islami (JI) held a sit-in outside the Governor House against power load-shedding and over-billing in Karachi.

Holding placards in front of the governor house, hundreds of JI workers took to the street to lodge a complaint against K-Electric by urging government to take stern action against the power utility.

JI’s Karachi emir Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman threatened the provincial government of backlash over police intervention during the protest, as what he called it a ‘peaceful sit-in’.
Addressing the sit-in, Naeem-ur-Rehman said that the power tariff should be decreased with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday directed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to consider forming a judicial commission if it satisfied the affected families.

The prime minister directed the Punjab CM that the families of Sahiwal incident victims should be listened and if they satisfy on forming a judicial commission then it should be considered.

“The prime minister said that the appeal of the Khalil family should be heeded and action should be taken accordingly.”

Sources further said that the premier directed Buzdar to meet affected families of the Sahiwal incident and also directed the treatment of a cancer patient of the affected family.
Imran Khan also directed to monitor the behavior of police with the affected families.

On January 19, CTD officials had killed four people, including a couple and their teenage daughter in an alleged “encounter” in Sahiwal, triggering a national outcry that prompted the government to take the security officials into custody and order an investigation into the incident.

The officials claimed that the ‘terrorists’ were killed in an intelligence based operation (IBO). Three other terrorists including Shahid Jabar and Abdul Rahman managed to flee during the chase near the toll plaza of Sahiwal.

They also claimed of confiscating explosives and weapons from the car adding that officers were investigating into the matter as part of the operation in Faisalabad on January 16.

Contrarily, an eye witness has told the media that the deceased were neither equipped with any weapon nor resisted officers whereas three children were also present in the car.

The eyewitnesses further said that the children while speaking to them at a nearby petrol station claimed that the “police have killed their parents”.

“Following the firing incident, the police left the children at the petrol station where they spoke to us. A few minutes later, however, CTD officials returned and took the children with them to an undisclosed location,” the eyewitnesses added. – NN