KP assembly passes Child Protection and Welfare Bill

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-PATA Bill deferred amid heated debate

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Tuesday passed Child Protection, Welfare (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and deferred ‘The Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) Bill, 2018’ after a huge debate on the bill.

Both the bills were moved by provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Sultan Muhammad in the House with Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani in the chair.

The bill required setting up of child protection unit at district level under administrative control where Social Welfare Officer of the district concerned would be in charge.

A Chief Protection Officer would be appointed for a period of three-year, extendable by the government.

The funds for the unit would consist of grant-in-aid, donations, endowment, fee and bequest received from any source.

The protection unit would provide shelter, education and provision of parental/ family environment to infant.

Meanwhile, the Law Minister presented ‘The Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) Bill, 2018’ in the House.

He insisted that the bill must be passed to give legal cover to the existing laws in PATA, adding that after the passage of the 25th constitutional amendment by the National Assembly the Article 247 was revoked thus making all the Presidential regulations ineffective.

The Opposition argued that after the passage of the bill PATA would become under the tax net, adding the government promised to give relaxation to PATA in this regard while amending the 25th constitutional amendment.

They demanded of the government to fist give assurance about not to impose a tax in Malakand division.

Later, after thorough discussion, the opposition staged a walkout from the House in protest against the bill. The opposition said they were not consulted over the bill.

On the assurance of Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai, Minister for Finance Taimur Salim Jhagra and Minister for Law Sultan Muhammad, the opposition ended their boycott and came back to the House.

The Minister for Law requested the Speaker to defer the bill for consultation with the opposition.