ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan People’s Party Vice-President Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday slammed the federal government for increasing the prices of electricity and essential products in a time of high employment and extreme inflation.

Earlier, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority approved a raise of Rs 1.62 per unit in power tariff on account of fuel adjustment cost for the second and third quarters of Financial Year 2019-20. 

Senator Sherry Rehman, the PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, said the government had been up to nothing but dropping one inflation bomb after the other on the people. 

“The country is already struggling to recover from the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the heavy rainfalls, which destroyed the livelihoods of many,” she said in a statement.

The increase in price of electricity, she said, was yet another blow to the business industry, which is already suffering losses as a result of lockdowns during the Covid-19 outbreak and again due to the devastating rainfall in the city. 

“It has caused losses of billions of rupees to the economy. Even the business community has expressed their reservations over this decision”, Senator Rehman added.

The country, she said, was already experiencing gas shortages and the federal government has now decided to increase prices of electricity and many essential products.  

“Across the world, governments’ are working hard to provide relief to their people. In Pakistan however, the federal government is burdening the poor and vulnerable”, the Senator said.

Commenting on the recent price hike in medicine prices, the lawmaker said, “Recently, we witnessed a 260% price hike for 94 life-saving drugs. All this is happening during a national health crisis. How can this government be so insensitive?”

The federal government, she said, had bowed down to the medicine, sugar and wheat mafias, while there is no relief for the people affected by COVID-19. “This is not the first time the government has been quick to respond to the wishes of the wealthy class”, the Senator added.

The PPP Vice President said the federal government was generously burdening the consumers with all the price hikes. She said this “will now end up affecting their ability to afford even two meals a day. The PPP rejects this move. The government must work towards providing relief to the people, not the exact opposite.”