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Govt had no option but to increase fuel prices, will provide relief to masses: PM Shahbaz


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GWADAR:– Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that the government had no option but to increase the prices of petroleum products and the government has given Rs 2,000 subsidy to the poor people and will provide more relief to the poor people.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Gwadar East Bay Expressway on Friday, having increased oil prices again with a heavy heart, the government believed that anymore burden on the poor masses would be unjust and it was a time for the elite class to sacrifice.

“I have called a meeting tomorrow… The billionaire elite should come forward and sacrifice for the poor masses and provide their resources through austerity… This will start from me, ministers, advisors, federal and provincial secretaries and government officers,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister said that he has reviewed ongoing development works in Gwadar. Ahsan Iqbal is supervising all the projects and better security is being provided to Chinese brothers. He said China has also provided solar panels to 3200 families, hospitals in Gwadar with Chinese help but the pace of work here is not satisfactory yet as the Gwadar Airport has not been completed yet.

Sharif said the foundation stone of the airport was laid in 2017-18, adding that the Gwadar Airport is being built with 100% Chinese grant, while clean drinking water couldn’t not be provided to the people.

He said the elite would have to play their part in that noble cause. “This is their duty. I will ensure that they shower their resources for the poor and bear strict measures,” he remarked.

A component of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the 6-lane Eastbay Expressway would connect the Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway, also providing a link to Karachi.

The prime minister told the gathering that the government tried to avert the burden of oil price hike but it was done with a heavy heart as 90% of country’s needs were met through imported oil.

He said perceiving the success of vote of no confidence against it, the previous government reduced the oil prices to trap the incumbent government.

He questioned as how the government could provide subsidy on imported oil through loans.

The prime minister said that the government had announced a relief package of Rs2,000 each family under Benazir Income Support Program(BISP) to mitigate the impact of the oil price hike.

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