PM confident govt will unfurl plan to resolve power bills issue

Kakar says ‘We have to fulfil agreements made with international financial institutions as well as power companies’ n Taxation system in control of profiteers but we need to bring different sectors under tax net n PM says he was misquoted about recent protests against inflated power bills n Announcing election date is ECP’s responsibility n Incidents like May 9 vandalism absolutely not tolerable.


ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Sunday said that the government would come up with short, medium and long-term plans to resolve the issue of electricity bills and initiate re­forms in the power sector.

“The government would im­plement a plan for the conser­vation of electricity as was prac­ticed in the Western world and taught by Islam,” said the PM during an interview with a pri­vate TV channel here.

To a question about public ag­itation on the issue of electrici­ty bills, the prime minister said extreme political and social atti­tudes were not beneficial for so­ciety. He said the system of tax­ation was meant to tax the rich and spend on the poor but at present the system was in the clutches of profiteers and was marred with inefficiency, adding indirect taxation system was re­sponsible for many of the woes of the poor. "We needed to tax different sectors which are still not brought under the tax net."

He said Pakistan's economic conditions were affected by the international financial institu­tions and "we have to fulfil the agreements made with them."

The government also had to fulfil the agreements made with the power companies in the past decades, he continued.

He said flaws in the power sec­tor and generation and trans­mission system were acute, add­ing the issue of electricity bills was multidimensional and the government had held numerous meetings related to issues of tax­ation and the power sector.

He assured that the Finance Ministry would come up with recommendations to provide re­lief to vulnerable sections of so­ciety. He said he was misquoted about the recent protests on the issue of electricity bills.

He understood that there was a section of society which was heavily burdened with electric­ity bills and he could identify with the social and economic problems of people as he him­self faced these problems in the past, he added.

To a question about privatiza­tion, he said the privatization of state sector entities including Pakistan International Airlines was on the agenda of the gov­ernment and work was being done on it. He said the caretak­er government was the continu­ation of the constitutional order and it would not remain in place any extra time on the expiry of its term. He clarified that the Election Commission of Pakistan would announce the date for the election. “According to the law of the land, Election Commission will decide about elections,” he said adding however, the superi­or judiciary after listening to the legal experts could decide about the elections. 

“Law and a binding judgment of the Supreme Court will de­cide. The respect and reverence of judiciary is important for democratic dispensation and social order and these should not be disturbed,” he remarked.

He said, according to its con­stitutional role, the Supreme Court will remove any doubt about the timing of elections. He agreed that because of the past circumstances, there were con­cerns among the political par­ties about the schedule of polls.

Responding to a question, he said the situation in border ar­eas was aggravated due to the situation emerging after the withdrawal of the United States and NATO from Afghanistan.

There was an inventory of weapons and equipment that was left by the US in Afghani­stan and now the terror outfits were more equipped and were not only dangerous for Paki­stan but also for China and oth­er countries, he said adding the US should have handed over the inventory of weapons responsi­bly, but there was a rushed with­drawal by the US and now it was not clear who was in possession of these weapons and equip­ment. He was of the view that the state had two tools includ­ing negotiations and the appli­cation of force against militants to achieve peaceful social order.

“We have to use both ap­proaches to achieve our goals.” The stability, prosper­ity and peace of Afghanistan were linked to peace, stability and prosperity of Pakistan, he opined. The PM said the inci­dents of May 9 were watched by the whole world and the inter­national media reported these incidents and analyzed them.

Such vandalism was not tol­erable in any democratic dis­pensation, he said adding it was an attempt to lead to a civil war and mutiny and the target was the leadership of the army and the present chief of army staff.

Anwaar-ul-Haq said due pro­cess of law was being followed after these incidents and there was a standard operating proce­dure everywhere in the world to legally deal with cases of attack on military installations.

He said the matter of cipher was sub-judice and the best ju­dicial minds would deliberate on it to come to a decision.

The foreign policy of Pakistan was aimed at friendship with the world including the Unit­ed States and diplomacy need­ed wisdom and deliberation, he remarked. The prime minister said that Pakistan historically did not have friendly relations with India, both the countries became nuclear and India vio­lated international principles and helped in the separation of East Pakistan. Kashmir was an unresolved issue and the UN Security Council resolutions on plebiscite should be implement­ed, he said adding Kashmir was a core issue and relations could not become normal with India without resolving this issue.

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