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Increase in petrol, diesel prices challenged in LHC

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Increase in petrol, diesel prices challenged in LHC

A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday seeking reversal of recent increase in prices of petroleum products.

The petition has been filed by a citizen named Munir Ahmed through his lawyer Azhar Siddique. He has made the petroleum minister, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and others respondents in the case.

The petitioner argued that the increase in petroleum prices was illegal and pleaded the high court to declared the notification issued by the governments to jack up the prices null and void.

In an overnight move, the federal government increased the price of petrol by Rs22.20 per litre taking it to the Rs272 per litre. The new price of high-speed diesel has been fixed as Rs280 per litre after an increase of Rs17.20.

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The prices of kerosene oil and light diesel oil have been increased by Rs12.90 and Rs9.68 per litre each. The kerosene oil reached at Rs202.73 per litre after a surge of Rs12.90 and light diesel oil at Rs196.68 per litre after an increase of Rs9.68.

The increase in petroleum prices is part of the government’s efforts to revive the much-needed loan programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is stalled since September last.

On Wednesday, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar presented the Finance Supplementary Bill 2023 in the lower house to fulfill the conditions of the international lender to secure the much-needed loan programme that would help the country stave off default.

Under the budget proposals, General Sales Tax (GST) on luxury items will be increased from 17% to 25% and Federal Excise Duty (FED) on business and first-class air tickets will also be increased to Rs20,000 or 50% — whichever is higher. The finance minister also proposed imposing 10% withholding adjustable advance income tax on bills of wedding functions, and an increase in FED on cigarettes, soft and sugary drinks.

The FED on cement will be raised from Rs1.5/kg to Rs2/kg and an increase in GST from standard 17% to 18% was also proposed in the Finance Supplementary Bill 2023, while GST will not be imposed on essential goods including wheat, rice, milk, pulses, vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs and meat.

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Under the Finance Supplementary Bill 2023, Mr Dar said that the government had suggested a Rs40 billion increase in the budget of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to protect downtrodden segments of the society from the impact of increasing inflation.

“The government has proposed to increase the BISP budget from Rs360 billion to Rs400, allocating Rs40 billion addition funds to benefit the (BISP) beneficiaries,” he said while presenting the Finance (Supplementary) Bill-2023 in Lower House of the Parliament.

He said the additional revenue measures, announced today, have nothing to do with the fiscal performance of the government.

The finance minister said the government has also envisaged structural reforms to bring improvement in the economy. He said the economy is expected to grow by four percent next year.

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

 YouTuber and anchorperson Imran Riaz has been released following a court order that discharged him from charges of interference in official duties.

Imran Riaz’s lawyer, Mian Ali Ashfaq, confirmed the news on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

Media reports indicate that on May 29, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Justice Aamer Farooq, allowed Imran Riaz to perform Hajj. However, despite the court’s permission, he was barred from travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj on June 3 and had to return home, stating his intent to seek court intervention again.

On June 12, the Islamabad High Court once more permitted Imran Riaz to proceed with Hajj. Yet, on the same day, he was arrested at Lahore Airport, clad in ihram, just as he was about to depart.

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A case under Section 406 for breach of trust was filed against him, but the Model Town Court in Lahore dismissed these charges on June 13. Nonetheless, he was rearrested in connection with another case.

This time, Imran Riaz was accused in a case registered at Sarwar Road Police Station in Lahore for allegedly interfering with official duties by forcibly driving his vehicle through an airport checkpoint, damaging a barrier.

However, on June 14, the Cantt Court in Lahore discharged Imran Riaz from the interference charges, leading to his release as per the court’s order.

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Federal Information Minister Atta Tarar announced that health insurance for 5,000 journalists will be ensured in the first phase.

While addressing the media at the press club, Tarar stated that the government is committed to the welfare of journalists. He underlined the need to work together to serve the country. He also asserted the government’s belief in freedom of expression while stopping misinformation.

Also read: PPP standing with journalists over defamation law: Hassan Murtaza

Tarar highlighted that everyone must play a part in ending fake. He mentioned that a long meeting with journalists will be held soon saying that his doors are always open for them.

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Furthermore, Atta Tarar said that the government will ensure a minimum wage of Rs 37,000

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Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

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Political parties must prioritise country's progress: President Zardari

 President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasised that political parties must prioritise the country’s progress and prosperity by fulfilling their democratic and constitutional responsibility.

He was talking to Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

The president said we must only think about Pakistan and put aside personal differences.

He stressed the need to take Pakistan forward and everyone has to play his role in this regard.

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Speaking on the occasion, the Interior Minister said any challenge can be tackled through the power of unity and solidarity.

Besides, matters of mutual interest and country’s overall situation were discussed in the meeting.

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