Decision to rise petroleum prices withdrawn

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani over the severe pressure from opposition parties in the parliament and the masses has announced withdrawal of recent prices hike on petroleum prices. The PM also announced to form a special parliamentary committee comprised of all parties to fix the prices of the petroleum products.

Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani while addressing in the National Assembly announced the reversal of petroleum prices, which was taken after detailed negotiation with all the parliamentary parties. The PM announced to restore the prices of 31st December.

On Monday, all the political parties expressed acute protest during the session of the National Assembly demanded of the government to take all the parliamentary leaders into the confidence. The PM said that he was in Lahore and could not participate due to intense fog while the second day it was postponed due to murder of Salman Taseer.

He further said that a meeting of the parliamentary leaders held here on Thursday where all the parties participated and all of them were taken into the confidence and economic team briefed them over the issue. All of them were decided to reverse the price-hike notification in the best interests of the public, he added saying that the petroleum prices are lastly hiked on October 31st and the current prices after reversal would be according to that.

The PM further said that the meeting was also decided to form a committee to fix the prices of the petroleum products and asked all the political parties to name their representatives within a week as they could formulate a strategy to fix prices according to the international market rates.

Sources said that the PM consulted the matter with numerous politicians including Maulana Attur-Rehman, Abdul Ghafoor Haidery, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Hanif Abbasi, Aftab Khan Sherpao, Asfand Yar Wali, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Pervez Ashraf, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Hafiz Sheikh, Hina Rabbani Khar and the economic team of the PM.

Sources further said that the economic team opposed the complete reversal saying that the government would have to face Rs 10 billion monthly and would be difficult to combat the situation. They also advised the PM to 50% withdraw the prices however the opposition parties were not agreed as they wanted complete reversal.

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