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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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Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

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Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Hasan Azhar Hayat on Wednesday met Utmanzai tribal elders from North Waziristan and thanked them for fighting alongside the Pakistan Army in the war against terror.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Utmanzai tribal elders, while appreciating the unwavering spirit of the Pakistan Army, said that the tribal people valued its sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

On the occasion, the Corps Commander said, “The Pakistan Army is using all its resources for the welfare of the people in the tribal areas. It is taking concrete steps along with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure the representation of the youth in minerals and other sectors, including better provision of education, besides the gradual return of other tribes to their respective areas.”

The tribal elders expressed the commitment that the tribal people would always stand beside the Pakistan Army and other law enforcement agencies for the solidarity and integrity of the country.

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Shehbaz claims party’s number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

Shehbaz claims party’s number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

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Shehbaz claims party's number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and nominated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that with independent candidates their number in the National Assembly reached 104.

Addressing the meeting of the parliamentary party, Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the successful members of the parliament.

The prime minister-designate said that the members of the assembly had won without doubt. He said that the party achieved success across the country.

He said that the party chief Nawaz Sharif had controlled load-shedding in 2017, brought CPEC projects into the country, connected the four provinces through a motorway, and got land for the Diamer Bhasha Dam.

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More to read: Nawaz Sharif nominates Shehbaz as PM, Ayaz for NA speaker: Tarar

Shehbaz Sharif said that the terrorists were eliminated under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, and the people of Karachi gave prayers to Nawaz Sharif who established peace in Karachi.

The nominated prime minister further said that Benazir was martyred but no one looked at GHQ. He questioned the language used when Nawaz Sharif fell ill and was jailed along with Maryam Nawaz.

Shehbaz Sharif said people questioned about the performance of the 16 months. “I would say we saved Pakistan from bankruptcy,” he said. , and once again I congratulate all the elected members.

On this occasion, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif presented a resolution to pay tribute to Nawaz Sharif as well as his sacrifices for democracy. 

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National Assembly’s inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

National Assembly’s inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

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National Assembly's inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

The inaugural session of the National Assembly will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am.

The Assembly secretariat issued a notification in this regard.

“National Assembly session to begin at 10am tomorrow [Thursday],” the notification read.

More to follow…

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