KARACHI - The members of the ruling PPP justified the recent hike in petroleum products and said that it was an international phenomenon and instead of criticizing the move, the opponents should also remember the steps the government has taken to bring succour to the poor by introducing schemes for their welfare. After admitting that the increase has affected the common man, the PPP legislators on the floor of the house here Monday said that it were the international compulsion which has forced the hand of the government to increase the price POL. The opposition PML (F) member Nusrat Sehar Abbasi raised the issue of increase in the POL prices through an adjournment motion, which said that the increase in petroleum prices have multiplied miseries of common people who were already groaning under the yoke of price hike of essential commodities and burgeoning unemployment. She said that poor segment of the society was already facing difficulties to make both ends meet and was finding it hard to survive now, because increase in petroleum prices have snowballing on the daily life. She said that people residing in rural areas were facing lot of problems, including experiencing 14 hours daily power load shedding and non-availability of drinking water. Taking part in the debate the parliamentary leader of MQM Syed Sardar Ahmed said that main reason behind basic problems of the country was that there was no change in fiscal policy which should be reviewed. He said that people of the country have witnessed a slight change in their favour during Zulfiqar Ali Bhuttos regime, but before and after Bhutto the situation has remained similar. We are still slaves of IMF, the MQM leader said, adding that the government has made increase in the petroleum prices to achieve target given by the IMF of tax recovery amounting to Rs1500 billion. He said that the government should have cut down non-development expenditure, and increase direct taxes, instead of increasing petroleum prices. Syed Sardar Ahmed said the government should have reviewed its budget to improve its fiscal policies, but it has not been done despite passing of 10 months to the current fiscal year. He suggested that the provincial government should review its current budget now, and make planning for forthcoming budget. Senior Minister for Education, Pir Mazharul Haq said that declaring the government responsible for all the ills was not fair, as people can also take some steps at individual basis. He said people belonging to elite class could minimize their expenses by lessening their lavish living style. Addressing the MPAs, he said that they could even cut their expenses by not purchasing costly vehicles for them, converting their vehicles from petrol to CNG etc. Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that the government would welcome positive criticism on it but it should not be for sake of criticism. He made responsible the previous government for most the problems common people were now facing. He said that the PPP government has taken various steps for poverty alleviation and minimizing ratio of unemployment, which should also be appreciated. Sindh Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Makh-doom Jamiluz zaman also held responsible previous governments for most of the problems facing currently. Sindh Minister for Tourism Shazia Marri said that obviously the assembly was a forum to take up common peoples issues, and adjournment motion reflects sentiments of the people. But, she added, the governments step to increase petroleum prices came due to increase in international market. Syed Bachal Shah of PPP said that no democratic government could take difficult decisions happily. He criticized the PML (F) members for playing double role at a time, in the government at centre and in opposition at the province. PML (F) female member Marvi Rashidi, however, said that though her party was in the government but it would not compromise on basic problems being faced by people. PPP legislator Dr Sikandar Mandhro said that the problem related to the petroleum prices was a matter of concern, but the Opposition should also realize ground realities. Abdul Moiz of MQM said that the increase in petroleum prices relates to the international market but people should also be given benefit when prices fall in the international market. PML (F) member Dr Rafique Banbhan said increase in diesel directly affects the common people in rural areas of the province. He said that due to increase in diesel prices expenditure on agriculture has become double. Syed Khalid Shah of the MQM, Nuzhat Pathan of PML (Q) and Anwar Maher of PPP also spoke on the adjournment motion. The government also introduced a bill, Sindh Public-Private Partnership Bill, 2010. The house which started business with Acting Speaker Shehla Raza in the chair offered fateha for veteran ANP leader Ajmal Kattak. After completion of business, the house was adjourned till Tuesday morning.