Peshawar – In response to the unusual rise in the prices of petroleum products in the country over the past two weeks, the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan, has decided to cut POL expenditure from all provincial and semi- government by levying a 35 percent reduced their POL expenditure.
The decision was taken as an immediate measure under the provincial government’s pre-existing austerity policy in the public interest. In this regard, the Chief Minister’s Secretariat has sent a letter to the Chief Secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the directive to take the necessary steps for the immediate implementation of the decision.
The letter indicates that excessive and unusual increases in the prices of petroleum products have put additional pressure on the resources of the provincial government; therefore, it is the need of the hour to reduce the POL expenditure of provincial and semi-governmental departments, institutes and agencies. It was also ordered in the letter to have an effective oversight mechanism to ensure the implementation of the Chief Minister’s decision in letter and spirit.
This decision will save the provincial public treasury an amount of Rs 125 million per month and Rs 1.5 billion per year. It is pertinent to mention here that the provincial government was already continuing its austerity measures under which various measures were taken to reduce the expenditures of the provincial government.
KP minister criticizes rise in POL prices
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Minister of Food, Science and Information Technology, Atif Khan, said that during the three years of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, prices of petroleum products had increased by 60 rupees a liter while the current government although they claim to have economic experts who have increased 60 rupees a liter in just 45 days of government and dropped an inflation bomb on the poor .
The provincial minister clarified that the former PTI government referred to rising prices for global reasons, but the current leaders would give false statistics to the people in their thirst for power. While criticizing the coalition government, Atif Khan said they used to claim they could control rising prices and wondered why their economic pundits failed to beat inflation instead of burdening the poor by dramatically increasing the prices of petroleum products.
At a press conference with former federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur and provincial assembly member Zahir Shah Toro here on Friday, Atif Khan said the PTI government had not prevented any party from exercising their right to demonstrate, but that the Federal Minister of the Interior threatened the PTI leadership and the workers. He further said that Rana Sanaullah would be held responsible for the violence perpetrated against peaceful PTI workers during the Azadi march.