MPA Rana Asif Mehmood told The Express Tribune on Thursday that he had resigned from the finance ministry. He said Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, minister for Education, would replace him as the new finance minister and present the budget on June 9.
No independent confirmation was available.
Speaking to the media in front of the Punjab Assembly earlier in the day, Mehmood had said that he had requested his party to relieve him from his cabinet portfolio and nominate another member to give the budget speech.
He had said that he would comply with the decision of the committee formed by the PML-N on his dual-nationality.
He said he was granted Canadian nationality in 1996. He criticised the law barring people with dual nationality from membership of the parliament and provincial assemblies.
He said there had been no action against people with dual nationalities who held senior offices in government bodies. “Why should there be a problem only with a politician holding dual nationality?” he asked.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the committee was examining whether or not Rana Asif Mehmood’s case fell in the purview of the dual nationality law.
Punjab Assembly passes five bills:
The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed five bills, including three sent back by the governor with objections, and referred 12 new bills to the respective standing committees.
Of the five bills passed by the House, The Parks and Horticulture Authority Bill and The Punjab Animals Slaughter Control Amendment Bill of 2012 were new legislations and The Evacuee Property and Displaced Persons Law Bill of 2012, The Settlement Commissioners Bill and The Punjab Public Defender Service Act were those returned by the governor with objections.
The three returned bills were passed after a brief argument between Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Ehsanul Haq Naulatia.
Naulatia said the bills related to government departments that did not lie in the purview of the province. Sanaullah rejected the objection and said that these departments had been devolved to the provinces in the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
He said the PPP was worried that after the bill on evacuee property became law corruption by its members would be exposed. He said all Evacuee Trust Property Board properties in the province would be taken over from the federal government after the passage of the bill.
The 12 bills referred to the respective standing committees were: The Women University Multan Bill of 2012, The Public Sector Universities Bill, The Punjab Agricultural Universities Bill, The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Bill, The University of Health Science Bill, The King Edward Medical University Bill, The Punjab Technology University Bill, The Punjab Revenue Authority Bill, The Punjab Evacuee Trust Properties Management and Disposal Bill, The Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency Bill, The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Privileges Bill and The Punjab Local Government Bill.
The departments discussed in the question hour were Forestry and Wildlife and Fisheries.
The session was adjourned till Friday morning.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.