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May 27, 2016

PA passes Drugs, FJMU Amendment Bills


May 27, 2016


Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed two bills The Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Lahore (Amendment) Bill 2016 with all amendments proposed by the opposition rejected. The Punjab Poultry Production Bill 2016 was also introduced by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and referred to the relevant parliamentary standing committee for report in two months.

Dismal attendance of members of benches, ministers, and parliamentary secretaries once again resurfaced as a problem in the House with quorum twice being called by PTI MPA Shunila Ruth and bells rung on both occasion as the required number of members were not present in the House. In zero hour devised by the Assembly Secretariat to give members an opportunity to air their grievances and get an explanation, almost all parliamentary secretaries remained absent and this was also the case at the time of adjournment motions.

Question hour on Thursday focused on the departments of Communication and Works, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, and Food Departments. PTI MPA Shunila Ruth informed the House that Christian marriages were not being registered at the Union Council despite legal provisions for it and a significant number of bishops and other religious leaders were also not registered to verify the process.

Minorities Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu replied that registration of Christian marriages were taking place at the Union Council level in addition to their divorces and deaths, additionally efforts were being made to fine false bishops in the province. Sindhu added that a list of Christians living in every Union Council had been given by every bishop to avoid fake registrations. The department of Communications and Works was also criticised repeatedly by PML-N MPA Amjad Ali Javed for poor roads construction and delayed infrastructure development in the province.

Speaking on a call attention notice by PPP MPA Faiza Ahmad Malik, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah informed the House that an FIR had been registered against the killer of Hashim in Islampura area and the perpetrator’s bail from a bench of Lahore High Court would be revoked and he would be arrested. Meanwhile, it was also pointed out by Zakat and Ushr Minister Nadeem Kamran that despite a meeting of the Assembly Finance Committee and approval of its recommendations by the House the salary of members and Assembly staff had yet to be increased. The Deputy Speaker ruled that a meeting would take place after the House between Kamran, Sanaullah, and himself to determine the matter.

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