Rs 91b being spent on higher education, minister tells NA

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The National Assembly resumed its session in Islamabad on Wednesday with Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi in the chair.

Minister of State for Education Muhammad Balighur Rehman informed the House that Higher Education Commission charges attestation fee of eight hundred rupees per leaf for original and five hundred rupees per leaf for photocopy document for degree and transcript verification. He said 91 billion rupees are being spent on higher education during the current financial year. He pointed out that standard of universities and quality of research has improved.

The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal is running a number of projects for welfare of the poor segment of society.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad while speaking during question hour said these projects include Individual Financial Assistance, Pakistan Sweet Homes, Child Support Programme and Thalassemia Centre.

The Minister said presently Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal is running 35 Pakistan Sweet Homes which cater to the orphan children throughout the country including AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. He pointed out that each centre accommodates one hundred orphan children. He said children are kept in home-like environment with the provision of a boarding facility, food and clothing. He said they are also being provided quality education in private schools.

To a question, Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Syed Muhammad Ashiq Hussain Shah told the House that Pakistan Railway has incurred 451.256 million rupees on account of repairs, renovation and reconstruction of railway stations during the tenure of the present government. He said reconstruction of Bahawalpur, Okara, Sahiwal, Raiwind, Narowal, Nankana Sahib and Hassanabdal stations is in progress while 31 stations is under finalisation for renovation and provision of basic passenger amenities.

To a question, he said Pakistan Railways has developed a software and has made ticketing and reservation through e-ticketing system initially for 36 trains with effect from October last year. He said now the passengers book their seats from anywhere at any time through railway website www.pakrail.gov.pk. He said the system would be expanded to include all the trains during this year.

 

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Shahida Akhtar Ali and others regarding eighteen dysfunctional water testing labs of Safe Drinking Water Project and non-payment of salary to one hundred and fifty-eight scientists and technical staff for the last year, Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain told the House that these labs are working properly. He said efforts are underway to resolve the matter of 158 employees of Safe Drinking Water Project.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid introduced before the House “The Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2017″.

The National Assembly on Thursday passed two bills.

These are” The Cost and Management Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2016″ and “The Costs of Litigation Bill, 2016”.

These bills were moved by Minister for Law Zahid Hamid.

Responding to another calling attention notice moved by Dr Nikhat Shakeel Khan and others regarding withdrawal of unregistered stents and substandard lenses endangering the precious lives, Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha told the House that action has been initiated against officials, doctors and hospitals involved in use of substandard stents. He said the Supreme Court has also taken a suo moto notice on use of substandard stents.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that availability of registered stents is being ensured. He pointed out that there are 55 registered manufacturers of stents.

The House will now meet tomorrow morning at 10:30.