Govt approves 11 projects, NA told


ISLAMABAD: National Assembly resumed its session here at the Parliament House on Thursday with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair.

At the outset, the house offered Fateha for the three soldiers martyred in a terrorist attack in North Waziristan on Wednesday.

The National Assembly was informed that the present government has approved eleven projects relating to water, energy and communication since coming to power last year.

Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Development Kanwal Shauzab told the house during question hour today that these projects will benefit the entire country.

She said the government is developing a policy for the equitable development of less developed districts to bring them at par with other developed districts of the country.

She said one special Economic Zone is being established at Rashakai under China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. The location for the zone was identified by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the house that an international level research university will be constructed at the PM House as per the commitment made by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said by laws of CDA will be changed for this purpose.

He told the house that Pakistan Steel Mills is not being privatized but it will be revived.

He said initially we want to privatize two RLNG plants, two banks, Jinnah Convention center, Lakhra Coal Development Company and residual shares of Mari Petroleum limited.

He said institutions such as Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA, Radio Pakistan, PTV and Pakistan Post are national assets.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi informed the house that a domestic resource mobilization program will be launched from 1st of July with the aim to broaden the tax base.

He said this program of four hundred million dollars will be financed by the World Bank.

Law Minister Farogh Naseem laid before the house seven bills on Thursday.

These included: The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Section 4), The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) bill, 2019 (Section 7), The Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Bill, 2019, the Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Bill, 2019, The Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission bill, 2019, The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) bill, 2019 and the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Bill, 2019.

Law Minister Farogh Naseem said all these are people friendly bills and politics should not be done on it.

Giving key features of the bills, Law Minister said the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) bill is aimed at ensuring speedy disposal of cases maximum to two years.

Farogh Naseem said the Legal Aid and Justice Authority bill will extend assistance to women and children involved in criminal cases.

He said Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Bill will ensure that women are not deprived of their property rights and the women ombudsperson will take notice of such cases and deal with it as a civil suit.

He said under the Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission bill, 2019 any person who shares information about alleged corrupt practices will be given a fixed percentage of the recovered amount as a reward. The chair referred the bills to the relevant standing committees.

The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned.

Responding to the points raised by the opposition members, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan has positively engaged with Iran to curb the cross border movement of militant elements.

He said we have a long border of nine hundred and five kilometers with Iran and we want to keep it peaceful and stable.

He said there are certain elements including the regional spy agencies which are bent upon hurting this relationship by creating misunderstandings through their nefarious acts.

He, however, said these sordid designs will be foiled through collective efforts.