- Twenty important bills approved during assembly’s 19th session
The Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted the private educational institutions amendment bill on Friday, paving the way for the provincial government to stop private schools from increasing fee at will.
Tabled by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the new bill will stop private institutions from charging fee during the academic year 2016-17 at the rate higher than the fee charged during the previous academic year. It will also stop private schools from charging additional fee for security and laboratory.
Private institutions running without registration will not be able to operate any further and failing to register the institutes will cost the owners up to Rs 4 million in penalties.
The bill will also stop private schools from binding parents to purchase textbooks, uniform and other material from a particular shop or provider. The bill has been passed in response to the public outcry over enhanced fees last year.
A large number of parents had complained about unexpected fee hike by few private schools in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and elsewhere in the country in 2015 and staged protests against the unprecedented fee increase.
Twenty important bills were approved in the 19th session of the Punjab Assembly which included the Punjab Special Protection Unit Bill, Punjab Safe City Authority for making command & control system effective, Infrastructure Development Authority of Punjab Bill, Punjab Food Authority Amendment Bill, Punjab Pure Food Amendment Bill, Punjab Revenue Authority Amendment Bill, Punjab Local Government Bill (first amendment), Punjab Local Government Bill (second amendment), Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority Amendment Bill, Punjab Public Representatives Laws Amendment Bill 2016, Punjab Maternity Benefits Amendment Law, Canal and Drainage Amendment Bill, Punjab Forest Amendment Bill, Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, Punjab Procurement Regulatory Authority Amendment Bill, Punjab Private Educational Institutions Promotion & Regulation Amendment Bill and Punjab Education Foundation Amendment Bill whereas University of Okara Bill for setting up University of Okara, Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan Bill for separately setting up Ghazi University at Ghazi Khan Medical College and Ali Institute Education Lahore Amendment Bill for making educational infrastructure more effective were approved. Moreover, imposition of sale tax on services and receipts will be further improved through Punjab Revenue Amendment Bill. The Punjab Local Government (first amendment) Bill was approved for dividing Metropolitan Corporation and municipal corporations in zones and further empowering them and (second amendment) bill for election of members on special seats through proportionate representation system of political parties. The Punjab Technical and Vocational Training Authority Amendment Bill was adopted for giving administrative autonomy and making Board of Technical Education operational. Change had also been incorporated in the laws relating to salaries and allowances of public representatives. Amendments had also been made in the laws for providing best facilities to the working women during child birth. Another bill was also approved for improving forests situation through forest companies. The Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill was also approved. The Punjab Private Institutions Bill was adopted for improving fee structure of private schools. The Punjab Education Amendment Bill 2015 was also approved for deciding the matters relating to appointment of managing director and improving the affairs of Punjab Education Foundation.