LAHORE: The provincial government seemed helpless when its minister admitted that they could not do anything to restrain farmers from using toxic water for cultivation.
The account of Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial that the government had been trying to convince farmers to stop using toxic water for growing vegetable but could not take any action against them, presented a dismal state of affairs of the authorities for failing to weed out this menace.
The opposition grilled the treasury members on their performance in the province. Minister Langrial was responding to the queries of the lawmakers during the question-answer session.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) lawmaker Kanwal Pervaiz Chaudhary pointed out that the farmers were using toxic water for growing vegetables. The minister admitted it was true and the government could not do anything about it.
“It means the government will not take any action against those who will grow poppy in their fields?” remarked Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Syed Hassan Murtaza.
Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari intervened and said it means if someone wanted to grow up ‘Bhang’ he could grow.
“Where are your secretaries and deputy secretaries or other relevant officials of your department,” Mazari questioned Langrial.
As general discussion on price control was started, the treasury lawmakers especially women protested against using the word ‘Mujrah’ by PPP’s Syed Hassan Murtaza. He said the government failed to control skyrocketing prices of essentials especially tomatoes and now how the treasury lawmakers would face the people in their respective constituencies whom they (MPAs) lured to vote for them after the 126-day of Dharna full of dance. On this, the PTI’s MPAs assembled in front of the deputy speaker’s chair. They demanded an apology from Hassan Murtaza.
Provincial Minister for Colonies Fayazul Hasan Chohan used derogatory language against PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto at which PPP lawmakers including PML-N’s legislators protested and demanded an apology from Chohan. PML-N’s MPAs first started using abusive language against Chohan at which the deputy speaker noticed but chose to ignore.
The PTI lawmakers, in general discussion on price control, hurled blame of current price hike on previous PML-N’s government while the PML-N’s lawmakers claimed the PTI ruined the country’s economy where the poor were starving.
PML-N’s Azma Zahid Bukhari questioned the performance of the ruling party claiming the government has completely failed to control the current anarchy as well as to put the country on the track of progress. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had been alleging PML-N’s leadership over poor performance but why his own vision has vanished and why the things are not getting better.
“Why people are not paying taxes now? Why the sugar mafia is not being controlled?” she questioned. “The ‘container job’ is easier than running state matters.”
She said the country could be run with what she called ‘Karkhana’ not with ‘Langar-khana’. Later, the house was adjourned for Monday 3:00 pm.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2019.