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NA speaker writes letter to Imran Khan, Shahbaz for caretaker PM decision

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  • Asad Qaiser seeks names of four members from both the leaders for the formation of parliamentary committee.
  • The speaker has written these letters under powers assigned to him as per Article 224A-1 of the Constitution.
  • The eight-member parliamentary committee will be formed by the NA speaker.

ISLAMABAD: Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser Wednesday wrote letters to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.

The speaker has written these letters under the powers assigned to him per Article 224A-1 of the Constitution.

Names of four members have been sought from both the leaders for the formation of the parliamentary committee.

Earlier this week, President Arif Alvi had sent letters to PM Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif to seek suggestions for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister for Pakistan; however, both leaders failed to reach a consensus.

According to NA rules, in case the two politicians can’t reach a consensus over one name within three days, each one of them will send two names to the parliamentary committee responsible for appointing a caretaker prime minister.

The eight-member parliamentary committee, comprising National Assembly and Senate members, with equal representation from the government and Opposition, will be formed by the NA speaker.

“224A (1) In case the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly do not agree on any person to be appointed as the caretaker prime minister, within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, they shall forward two nominees each to a Committee to be immediately constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly, comprising eight members of the outgoing National Assembly, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the Treasury and the Opposition, to be nominated by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, respectively,” Qaiser wrote in the letter.

Shahbaz will now nominate four members from the Opposition and PM Imran Khan will nominate an equal number of members from the treasury benches.

Shahbaz disagrees with PM Khan’s suggestion

Meanwhile, Shahbaz informed President Alvi that the Opposition does not agree with the suggestion of appointing Justice (retd) Gulzar Ahmed as the interim prime minister and that the process for the appointment is issued by the head of the state was a “violation of law and Constitution”.

In a letter, Shahbaz confirmed to the president that he had received his April 4 message regarding the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.

The PML-N president informed President Alvi that the speaker’s ruling on April 3 on the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan was a “blatant violation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” and the “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business” of the lower house.

“The entire super-structure built thereon, including all consequential notifications relating to dismissal of the Resolution, advice of the Prime Minister regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly, and continuation of the Prime minister in the office are all illegal, without lawful authority and of no legal effect,” wrote Shahbaz.

The Opposition leader also informed President Alvi that the Supreme Court is holding suo motu hearings on the National Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling.

He also shared the apex court’s ruling, stating that “any order passed by the prime minister and the president shall be subject to the order of the Court”.

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Explanation: The increase in inflation in the United States would cause electricity costs in Pakistan to rise.

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Electricity contracts between Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and the federal government not only involve capacity costs, but also have a significant impact on the economy and the financial well-being of the population. These contracts are closely linked to the inflation rate and the value of the US dollar.

Startling disclosures have emerged regarding the exorbitant electricity tariffs in Pakistan. The Council of Economic and Energy Journalists Sage, representing the institute, provided a briefing to leading journalists in Karachi.

According to the information provided, the electricity rate component in Pakistan experienced a 253 percent increase from 2019 to 2024 as a result of inflation in America.

The data presented in the briefing indicates that the capacity charges in Pakistan were Rs3.26 per unit in 2019 and climbed to Rs10.34 per unit in 2024.

The capacity charges imposed on the public incorporate the effects of both US inflation and domestic inflation.

Due to the rise in the country’s interest rate, the interest payment for energy has climbed by 343% during a span of four years. Over the course of four years, the working capital of IPPs caused a 716 percent increase in the cost of power per unit.

The electricity rate has increased by 12 to 20 percent, with 70 percent of the charges being capacity charges.

SDPI experts recommended the government to adopt a centralised tariff policy rather than a universal electricity tariff strategy.

The power generation capacity amounts to 23,000 megawatts.

As a result of the increase in solar power generation in the country, the capacity charges will have an additional adverse impact on the residents.

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Business

Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Court ruling: PTI to overtake all other parties in the National Assembly

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Eight independents and 84 Sunni Alliance members mean that the PTI will likely have 92 legislators in the National Assembly, according to sources.

PTI’s strength in the Lower House is expected to surge to 114 members if it regains the 22 reserved seats it previously lost.

As for the PML-N, they have 108 members in the National Assembly; PPP has 68; MQM has 21; JUI-F has 8; PML-Q has 5; and IPP has 4.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the distribution of reserved seats, the 77 extra seats meant for women and minorities were taken away from the PML-N, PPP, MQM, and JUI.

The electoral commission had on May 13 suspended the 77 Sunni Ittehad Council reserved seats on directives from the Supreme Court. 22 National Assembly seats and 55 provincial assembly seats are among the contested seats.

There are eleven seats from Punjab and eight from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National Assembly that are up for debate among women. The suspended seats also include three seats that are designated for minorities. In the National Assembly, the PPP received five seats, the JUI received three, and the PML-N received fourteen of the 22 heavily contested seats.

There are no longer any allocated seats for minorities or women in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, with 21 seats for women. In addition to the JUI-F, the PML-N was allotted seven seats, the PPP seven, and the ANP one.

The Supreme Court’s decision has suspended the three minority seats and the 24 reserved seats for women in the Punjab Assembly. The PML-N received 23, the PPP received 2, the PML-Q received 1, and the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party received 1 in Punjab.

There are now no longer any designated seats in the Sindh Assembly for women and minorities. MQM was allotted one reserved seat out of these, and the PPP two.

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