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PM has ordered inquiry into inflated gas bills: Fawad

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the inflated gas bills as it is unjustified to put unnecessary burden on the poor consumers.

The prime minister has directed the Federal Minister for Petroleum to conduct an inquiry into the matter immediately, he said, while talking to media persons here.

The minister said 10 per cent increase in gas price was for consumers using less than 300 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day), which constituted 70 per cent of the total consumers, while higher raise was for the rich people, consuming high volume of gas.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was going to launch the first phase of Insaf Sehat Card on Monday for the poor segments of the society, who did not have proper access to healthcare facilities. They would now be able to get free of cost medical treatment costing Rs 700,000 to Rs 900,000. The initiative would bring about a revolution in the healthcare facilities for the poor, he maintained.

Fawad said the prime minister also chaired a meeting on the governance matters in Punjab and soon changes would come forth in that regard as it was part of the PTI’s manifesto to improve the governance system.

Regarding the Sahiwal incident, he said the prime minister had expressed solidarity with the victim family and resolved to ensure dispensation of justice to them at all costs. The prime minister had also directed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to take all possible measures for provision of justice to the victim family, he added.

The minister said another detailed meeting on police reforms and governance would be held on Monday at the Prime Minister Office in Islamabad and its details would be shared with the media.

Regarding the meeting of media strategic committee, he said it had been decided to revive the social media set-up of PTI. The meeting also discussed as to how the government could play its role in helping the working journalists and media workers to come out of the prevailing financial crisis. “The prime minister directed me to hold meetings with the owners of media houses to find ways and means to end the crisis,” Chaudhry added.

To a question, the minister ruled out any serious differences between the PTI and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q). The PTI and its allies, including the PML-Q, were different parties and might have some differences, which could be important but not of serious nature.

“They (PML-Q) are our partners and we will, Insha Allah, set aside these differences and move forward in the best interest of the country,” he said.

He also rejected reports regarding suspension of an Elite Force official for saluting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif during his shifting to a hospital from prison as “we are not narrow minded.” As far as Nawaz Sharif’s health was concerned, he said, an independent team of doctors would decide about it.

To another query, the minister said there was suspense about Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari that whether they would spend the last days of their lives in jails or in London. The people, who remained in power for 30 years, should be ashamed while demanding their medical treatment abroad, he added.

He hoped that courts, National Accountability Bureau and other prosecution institutions would take into account how the rich people are given preferential treatment in jails compared to the poor prisoners.

Chaudhry said that Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari were either going to spend their coming days in London or in prison.

“Zardari has done some things over which no one can help him out,” said the minister.

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