LAHORE: It seemed that the treasury lawmakers came unprepared and without homework on the laws, they were about to introduce in the Punjab Assembly as the same regulations had already existed in the province.
A bill relating to the use of polythene bags was withdrawn while the one part of another bill relating to Sheesha smoking was requested by Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat to be deleted as it was related to the Anti-Narcotics Act.
The opposition lawmakers criticised the treasury legislators and said introducing a law that had already existed in the province speaks volume of the knowledge and interest of the lawmakers.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) firebrand MPA Azma Zahid Bukhari said it was a pity that even the lawmakers did not know which laws had already existed in the province.
“The lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are incompetent, unaware and lack interest and knowledge in the legislation process,” she remarked.
The lawmaker said it seemed that the “breaking news syndrome” has also taken over the minds of the lawmakers and they were in a hurry to introduce laws even if the same had already existed.
Another bill “The Punjab restriction on manufacture, sale, use and import of polythene bags bill 2019” was introduced by treasury’s Shamim Aftab but was withdrawn shortly after the provincial law minister pointed out that the same laws were already in place in Punjab so there was no need to waste time on it if there were no further amendments suggested.
Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat also requested PTI’s another lawmaker Seemabia Tahir to bring an amended version of “The Punjab prohibition of Sheesha smoking, use and sale of the crystal ice bill 2019” after deleting the content on the use and sale of crystal and ice from her bill as the same came in the ambit of Anti-Narcotics Act.
Another bill “The Punjab motor vehicles (amendment) bill 2019” was panned as the minister concerned was not present in the session.
The PTI lawmakers claimed that counties across the world issued driving licences to the people with hearing impairment so they wanted the government to follow the suit.
On this Panel Chairman Mian Shafi said the minister concerned was not in the assembly and his opinion should be sought on the bill.
The assembly also witnessed heated arguments when the opposition benches walked out of the proceedings demanding the production orders for opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and Khawaja Salman Rafique. As the PML-N lawmakers walked out of the house, PPP legislators stuck to their seats in the session.
Meanwhile, the PML-N lawmakers pointed out the quorum twice and the session was adjourned for Thursday 3pm.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2019.