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Amid protest in POK, PM Shahbaz allocates 23 billion to the region

In response to recent clashes and protests in Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the immediate provision of PKR 23 billion to the region. The unrest stemmed from demands made by the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC), particularly concerning electricity pricing, wheat flour subsidies, and socio-economic disparities. The protests, marked by arrests and violent clashes, culminated in a shutter-down strike and a march on the state capital of Muzaffarabad.

 

Government Responds with Aid Package

Following intense protest and escalating tensions, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a special meeting in Islamabad, joined by PoJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, local ministers, and political leaders. Federal ministers and coalition party representatives were also present. In this meeting, the attendees undertook a comprehensive review of the situation, leading to the approval of a substantial aid package for PoJK.

PoJK leaders and participants appreciated the decision, hailing Prime Minister Sharif’s prompt action in addressing the grievances of the protesters. Subsequently, PoJK Prime Minister Haq termed the subsidy package as a “gift” from the government, emphasizing its significance in alleviating the longstanding issues faced by the region.

 

Details of the Subsidy Package

The approved subsidy package outlines significant measures to address the concerns raised by the protesters. Notably, PKR 10 billion from the Social Protection Fund will be allocated to PoJK, with funds earmarked for transfer to the PoJK Bank. Additionally, authorities have introduced revised tariffs for electricity and wheat flour to ensure greater affordability for consumers.

 

The structure of electricity tariffs for domestic users is as follows:
  • Rs3 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for consumption up to 100 units
  • Rs5/kWh for consumption between 100 and 300 units
  • Rs6/kWh for consumption exceeding 300 units

 

Commercial users have tariffs set at:
  • Rs10/kWh for consumption up to 300 units
  • Rs15/kWh for consumption exceeding 300 units

Furthermore, authorities have fixed the price of a 40kg bag of wheat flour at Rs2,000, providing relief to consumers amidst economic challenges.

The swift government response to the protests in PoJK reflects a commitment to addressing the genuine grievances of the populace and restoring peace and stability to the region. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s leadership in approving the subsidy package underscores a proactive approach to resolving socio-economic disparities and meeting the needs of the people.

As PoJK moves forward, implementing these measures is expected to usher in a new era of development and prosperity. This will foster unity and collaboration among stakeholders for the collective benefit of the region.

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