Pakistan People’s Party Deputy Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Shaukat Mehmood Basra accused the chief minister on Tuesday of nepotism in granting government contracts. Specifically, he accused him of having favoured a company owned by his daughter, Javeria Shahbaz, and her husband, Yousuf Aziz.
The session had started almost two hours later than the scheduled time (10am).
During the question hour, parliamentary secretary on Health, Dr Saeed Elahi, answered questions about his department.
Speaking on a point of order, Basra also accused Sharif of having formed his 7 Club Road office into a ‘marriage hall’.
He said the chief executive of the Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMC), Dr Hamid Jalil, had resigned recently from his post due to political meddling and corruption. He said the chief minister had turned against Dr Jalil for resisting the award of contract to PolyLine, a company owned by Sharif’s daughter and son-in-law.
Reading from some news reports, Basra said management of the Lahore Meat Complex (LMC) project at Shahpur Kanjran, built at a cost of Rs1.5 billion, was being handed over to PolyLine.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah asked Basra to submit his adjournment motion in this regard on Wednesday (today). He categorically denied Basra’s allegations and advised him not to rely on newspapers and hearsay.
PML-N members Rana Arshad, Dr Ghazala Rana and Mutahida Majlis-i-Amal’s (MMA) Noor Niazi heckled Basra but he continued to speak, until Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan told him to submit his adjournment motion in writing.
Basra later submitted the adjournment motion in the assembly secretariat and distributed its copies among reporters.
BRTS ‘waste’ of public exchequer
PML-Q Parliamentary Leader Chaudhry Zaheeruddin submitted an adjournment motion saying that the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was an election stunt and a waste of public money.
He said the BRTS was a useless project and bound to fail like the Sasti Roti Scheme. He said the Punjab government had deliberately violated rules and regulations while starting these projects. He the BRTS had so far proven to be detrimental to the businesses on Ferozepur Road. He said it had also made traffic situation worse on these roads.
The motion asked if the government had a clear plan for smooth traffic flow on these roads. He also wanted to know the reasons for the continuous changes in the project designs and if there were any experts who were looking after the billions of rupees spent on these projects.
He said the Turkish company that had been paid Rs50 million for a feasibility study had never worked on such a project before or prepared a feasibility report.
To a question, Dr Elahi said that Pakistan was not the only country where spurious medicines problem had happened. He said there have been such cased in America and China also. He said attempts were being made to stop manufacture and sale of such medicines.
He said the Centre enjoyed the most representation in the Drug Regulatory Authority. He said there were four drug courts in the Punjab. He said the Punjab government prosecuted the cases, but punishments and fines were decided by the judges.
PML-Q’s Rana Muhammad Afzal said there was no merit in private medical colleges and that the rich paid millions of rupees in the name of donations to get their children admitted to these colleges.
Dr Elahi responded that under the PMDC rules, no college could charge more than Rs500,000 a year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.
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