- Hammad Azhar says government will not have to subsidise petroleum products if it purchases them from Russia.
- Says PTI government had initiated talks with Russia for procurement of oil.
- PTI government did not allow IMF to fix POL prices, says Azhar.
If Pakistan buys 30% cheaper oil from Russia, it will not have to pay a subsidy, PTI leader and former federal minister Hammad Azhar says.
He said the PTI government had started talks with Russia for cheap oil.
“Our government had not given the International Monetary Fund [IMF] the power to fix the prices of petroleum products,” he said, addressing a press conference in Lahore.
“If the incumbent government is unable to manage the affairs, it should announce the general election forthwith”.
Azhar said that the people expected the present government would give a direction. “People were expecting the government would share how to stabilise the Pakistani rupee,” he said.
If the government wants to increase the prices, it should do so but it should not create ambiguity, he said. “The (former) Prime Minister [Imran Khan] had promised the nation that prices of petroleum products will not go up till June,” he continued.
The former federal minister said that foreign reserves were on the rise during the PTI tenure. The government has created a self-imposed crisis of diesel and load-shedding and the economy has become chaotic within a month, he said. “It is mismanagement as farmers are anxious about [the availability of] diesel today, while inflation has climbed to beyond 13%,” he said.
Hammad warned that if the government resorts to arrests, the situation would go elsewhere.
“Where is your administration? You used to launch the Mehngai March. But now, the government’s legs are shaking,” he said.
In comparison, the PTI government reduced electricity by Rs5, he said.
The PTI leader said these political parties were not ready to sit with each other in February.
Rural areas of Sindh are being controlled by Zardari raj [rule], he added.