Islamabad: Minister for Power and Petroleum Omar Ayub has said the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan are lowest in the South Asian region despite the recent increase in their prices.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Saturday, he pointed out that the price of petrol has increased by 112 percent over the last forty six days in international oil market. He said the price of OPEC basket has increased by 46 percent last month.
The Minister said that the present government passed on the benefit of reduction in international oil prices to the consumers. He said we will move forward as per the up and down in the international oil market.
Regarding power sector, the Minister said loadshedding has been eliminated and currently it is being carried out only in feeders where losses are high. He said our focus is now on bringing improvement in the distribution and transmission system. He said we are now pursuing clean and green projects in the energy sector.
Winding up discussion on the cut motions moved by the opposition against the demands for grants for Industries and Production Division, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the government will frame new auto policy next year after the expiry of existing one. He assured the new policy will focus on ensuring better safety standards in the vehicles and localization of the industry.
Regarding FATF, the Minister said the issue was mishandled by the previous government. He, however, said Pakistan has met the majority of the FATF conditions.
The House has approved five demands for grants relating to the Industries and Production after rejecting the cut motions moved by the opposition on them.
Responding to points of opposition members, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said expenditures of PM Office and PM House have significantly been cut over the last two years.
He said 474 million rupees were allocated for PM office during the current fiscal year.
Out of this, 137 million rupees have been returned, thus the saving of twenty nine percent was made. He said there is no camp office of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Minister regretted that former Prime Ministers and former President Asif Ali Zardari spent huge amounts on their foreign trips.
The House has approved four demands for grants relating to Ministry of National Food Security and Research, rejecting the cut motions moved by the opposition,
Winding up discussion on the cut motions, Minister for National Food Security Fakhar Imam said a mechanism is being evolved to provide fertilizers and other inputs including tractors and pesticides to the farmers at reduced rates. He said we also want to provide relief to the farmers in agriculture loans.
He said Pakistan can move forward on the path of development by focusing on the agriculture sector. He regretted that no effort was made in the past to enhance per acre yield of major crops such as wheat and cotton.
He said our wheat production remained over twenty five million tons against the target of twenty seven million tons. He said the government has decided to import wheat to meet the shortfall of one to 1.5 million ton and stabilize the price of the commodity in the market.
The Minister for Food Security said efforts have been accelerated to cope with the challenge of locusts. He said an area of 2.5 million acres has been sprayed against locusts. He said twenty five billion rupees will be spent during the next fiscal year to control the crop munching pests. The process of procuring aircraft and micron sprayers is underway. Twenty micron sprayers have already been procured and reached Pakistan.