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January 15, 2020

KP Assembly proceedings: Questions again deferred due to incomplete answers


January 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: Questions in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly were once again deferred on Tuesday due to incomplete answers by the Local Government Department with the speaker asking Special Assistant to Chief Minister Kamran Bangash to take action against those responsible for leniency.

Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani deferred all the seven questions by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Nighat Orakzai and Ahmad Kareem Kundi, Shagufta Malik and Faisal Zaib of the Awami National Party (ANP), and Inayatullah Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) about the Local Government Department.

He directed Kamran Bangash to take action against the erring staff of his department and also ensure complete answers to the questions in the next sitting.

The speaker said it was responsibility of the departments to send proper answers to the questions submitted by the members. He added the presence of the ministers concerned was also must to answer the questions.

Nighat Orakzai and Shagufta Malik insisted that a strict action should be taken against the government servants who failed to respond, saying that the speaker should ensure implementation on his rulings. The House unanimously adopted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the KP Vagrancy Restraint Bill, 2020.

The desperate adjournment motions of opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani, Sardar Hussain Babak, Nighat Orakzai, Shagufta Malik, Naeema Kishwar and Inayatullah Khan about the increase in number of polio cases in the province were also admitted for discussion.

Later, members from the tribal districts Nisar Mohmand, Mir Kalam Wazir and Bilawal Afridi complained about being ignored in development schemes and standing committees.

Expressing concern over the government’s attitude towards the merged districts, they said the elected public representatives were not given any importance.

They said a tribal jirga was being revived in the merged districts but elected public representatives were not consulted. They complained that the ones, who had opposed reforms and the abolition the Frontier Crimes Regulation, were being inducted in the proposed jirga.

Through a call attention notice, Humera Khatoon of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) raised the issue of rise in the prices of life-saving drugs.

She said the pharmaceutical companies and doctors were hand-in-glove to fleece the poor people. The MPA added the prices of medicines were being raised without any check, which had directly impacted more than 44 percent poor population.

The government should take notice of the increase, she added. In his reply, Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan said though determining the prices of the drugs was the domain of the federal government, the drugs inspectors in the province were checking prices and availability of medicines.

He pointed out that under the Drugs Act 1974, the Drugs Control Authority was responsible for checking and fixing the medicines’ prices and no company was allowed to raise prices on its own. In his reply to a call attention notice by Khushdil Khan of the ANP about the lawyers’ strike against the Civil Procedure Code, he said the law was enacted in the larger interest of the public as per the litigants were suffering due to delay in deciding the cases.

He said the law was aimed at providing cheap and speedy justice to the people. However, he said talks with lawyers’ committee had been successful and they would call of the strike. The minister said that during a meeting with the lawyers’ representatives, including Peshawar High Court Bar Association President Abdul Latif Afridi and Peshawar Bar Association’s Taimoor Khan it was decided that they would call off the strike after holding their general body meeting today (Wednesday). The members from the opposition were debating the issue of mines and minerals tax and the award of contracts in merged districts when the speaker adjourned the session till January 27.