PA targets passage of 200 bills till 2018


Ahmed Khan Baloch, a ruling party lawmaker from Lodhran, said on Thursday that not a single tube well can be seen on solar panels in the whole province, despite the fact that two budgets have been passed since the government made this promise

He was of the view that the government must place a ban on the trade of vegetables with India, as Pakistan is self-sufficient in the production of vegetables, and the import of vegetables is against the interest of local farmers.

Raheela Anwar, a woman lawmaker from PTI, said that cotton is considered Pakistan’s cash crop; unfortunately, the production of cotton has been decreased by 35 per cent; therefore, the export has also been reduced resultantly. “There is a dearth of water in my area and I have been raising the issue in this house for last three years, but in vain,” Raheela said, who hails from Jehlum.

Mian Muhammad Rafique, a lawmaker of PML-N from Toba Tek Singh, said that the packages for farmers are short term solutions and government must look for the long term projects to facilitate the poor farmers. According to him, the farmers are the backbone of the country and the whole economy will collapse if they refuse to do work. The fear of the collapse of economy prompts the rulers to announce the agriculture packages for the farmers; otherwise, they do not have any soft corner for poor farmers, Rafique said, who was being interrupted by the speaker repeatedly.

Earlier in the day, four bills were passed in the house during the government business. The passed bills were ‘the Punjab Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) (Amendment) Bill 2016’, ‘the Parks and Horticulture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2016’, ‘the Punjab Halal Development Agency Bill 2016’ and ‘the Punjab Animals Feed Stuff and Compound Feed Bill 2016’.

Law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said that it is unprecedented in the whole legislative history of all the assemblies that this house has passed as many as 137 bills in the short span of three and a half years. “One and a half year is still remaining in the general elections, and we have set a target to pass 200 bills in this house,” he said confidently. It is a great achievement for Punjab, despite the fact that the opposition created hindrances in the passage of every bill by pointing out the quorum, he added.

Speaking on a point of order, Jamaat-e-Islami parliamentary leader Dr Waseem Akhtar lauded the services of recently retired COAS General Raheel Sharif and invited him to join JI after two years. “He had played an important role in defeating terrorism and JI invites him to join the party for the progress of country after two years,” he said.

The members of press gallery staged another token walkout against the ban imposed on some TV channels by the PEMRA. “This house demands from the PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam to listen to the point of view of the channels as well because it is undemocratic to impose a ban without listening to the point of view of the other party,” he said on the floor of the house. It is also the responsibility of the PEMRA to make sure the smooth transaction of salaries of employees of banned channels, he said. The session was adjourned till Friday.