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ISLAMABAD June 6 (APP): Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said, the government is cognizant of the recent hike in commodities prices and is taking measures to ensure provision of goods on affordable prices.

Speaking at a private news channel, the minister said, price
hike in Ramadan is not a new issue because some people poise
to profiteering when Ramazan approaches. “It is also a matter of
supply and demand and in a free economy environment the
government can control the price to certain extent.”

In this connection, the minister mentioned that the government is giving targeted subsidy to consumers and try to control prices through some administrative measures.

He said it is also ensured that quality goods are provided on affordable prices. However, he regretted the societal moral deterioration and said it is unfortunate that “our society is plagued from this menace and we should collectively address it.”

He said that the government has been successful in controlling prices as a whole, though there had been scattered incidents of price hike in view of commodities shortage.

He rejected the notion that there had been meager input by elected
representatives in the annual budget. “Bureaucracy is just a tool,
the real input comes from the elected representatives.”

Contesting an argument, the minister said, the government
has provided relief to farmers in the budget, petroleum prices have
not been increased while the electricity price has been reduced.

The Petroleum Minister referred to improvement in macro numbers of
economy but stated that until the country is under debt, the
budgets in recent years would be alike. “Therefore, we shall be
focusing on economic growth, investment and more production.”

He said global economic institutions have acknowledged that Pakistan’s economy is showing improvement. “The country which was on the verge of bankruptcy is now on way to stability.

We have incentivized exports and are trying to create jobs.”
Answering a question, he said, there are scattered incident of gas load shedding or pilferage and these issues are being addressed. “There are scattered incidents of gas abuse but these are nominal and the government is taking action in such incidents.”