Inordinate delay: Opposition gripes over 135-minute adjournment in PA

Treasury benches get three bills passed in session which lasted 30 minutes


Our Correspondent February 08, 2018
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Protesting over the conduct of Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Iqbal Khan, the opposition legislators walked out from the House.

The speaker had earlier called for a 10-minute adjournment which lasted over 135 minutes and the question hour session was left pending for the second time.

The treasury benches for three bills passed in the session which lasted around 30 minutes with majority of absentees coming from the opposition benches.

On Wednesday, the House started at 11:35 and after recitation of the Holy Quran and Naat, the opposition pointed out that neither Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazeer nor the secretary of the department concerned was present in the House.

Meanwhile, PTI legislator Asif Mehmood pointed to the lack of quorum and the bells were rung for five minutes. The House was adjourned for 10 minutes, but this lasted over 135 minutes. At 2pm, house proceedings got underway again and the speaker left the question session answer pending as neither the minister nor the secretary concerned were present.

PTI’s Asif Mehmood protested against the conduct of the speaker. He said this was the second time when the question-answer session was left pending, adding that on January 2, the question-answer could not take place due to the absence of Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Syed Haroon Sultan.

There were 20 questions of legislators from both treasury and opposition benches which were left pending on the agenda items.

Three bills, including the Punjab Education Initiatives Management Authority Bill 2017, the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Punjab Zakat and Ushr Bill 2017, were passed by the treasury benches, with majority, in the absence of the opposition. However, the speaker adjourned the House till 10:00am on Thursday (today).

The Punjab Education Initiatives Management Authority Bill 2017

The function of authority in this newly passed bill the Punjab Education Initiatives Management Authority Bill 2017 is that it (authority) shall design, implement and manage reformatory and dynamic initiatives in the education sector in respect of the educational institutions, including Public School Support Programme under the Punjab Education Foundation, for achieving the objectives of the Act.

The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017

Under this bill, the government aims at ensuring display of security featured number plates and personalised vanity plates for motor vehicles in the province. It is necessary to make provision for penalty for the non-display of the security featured number plates and personalised vanity plates to ensure that owners of the motor vehicles display the plates provided by the prescribed authority or registering authority.

The Punjab Zakat And Ushr Bill 2017

As a consequence of the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act 2010, the subject of Zakat and Ushr has devolved on to the provinces. The bill discussed the mode of assessment, collection and distribution of Zakat and Ushr under the provincial government. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2018.

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