Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League senior central leader and Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi has said that it has been decided to withdraw the increase in gas tariff for all mosques, madaris, Imam bargahs, shrines churches and minorities places of worship. He made this announcement during his meeting with the leaders of Ittehad Tanzeemaat-e- Madaris Pakistan in Islamabad today in the light of consultations with PML President Senator Ch Shujat Hussain and Prime Minister Raja Parvaiz Ashraf.
In the meeting with Ch Parvez Elahi in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Islamabad Sahibzada Fazal Karim, Maulana Mohammad Qasim, Maulana Salimullah Khan, Mufti Muneebur Rahman, Maulana Qari Muhammad Hanif Jullundhry, Maulana Abdul Maalik, Hafiz Ammar Yasir, Maulana Muhammad Younis Butt, Dr Saeed Mohammad Najafi, Maulana Aneesul Hasnain Khan and other ulema, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Industries Muhammad Basharat Raja, Federal Secretary Petroleum and Chairman OGRA were present.
Ulema demanded that OGRA through a notification on September 22, 2012 had excluded mosques, deeni madaris, Imam bargahs, shrines and minorities places of worship from domestic consumers category and included them into special category and fixed new slabs of gas tariff as a result of which price of natural gas for these places of worship and institutions has almost reached the level of commercial consumers, minimum monthly bill of Rs 3600 has been made compulsory and fees for new connection has also been increased from Rs 3000 to Rs 30 thousand and all of these decisions of OGRA amount to grave injustice.
Ch Parvaiz Elahi said that we respect, ulema, mashaikh and religious scholars from our hearts, deeni madaris are the biggest NGOs in the world and to solve their problems is not only rendering service but also worship. He said that the increase in gas tariff has been withdrawn, gas will be supplied to all mosques, madaris, imam bargahs, shrines, churches and other places of worship of the minorities on tariff for domestic consumers. He said that in this regard he has consulted Ch Shujat Hussain and the Prime Minister. The ulema further demanded that these are purely welfare, charitable and non-profit institutions and those benefitting from these institutions including boys and girls students and other people belong to very poor segments of the society, as such the slab system should also be abolished. In response to this, Ch Parvaiz Elahi said that for solving this problem finally he would shortly convene another meeting.
All the ulema present in the meeting thanked Ch Parvez Elahi for making timely announcement to solve this important problem. Beneficiaries from this decision include 25 lakhs students of deeni madaris (institutions imparting religious education) and 40 lakhs mosques all over the country.