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September 5, 2015

PA resents absence of health secretary

Lahore

September 5, 2015

LAHORE
Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani on Friday expressed strong resentment on the absence of secretary health in the House during the question hour and said that all the questions should be deferred for some other day and a notice be issued to the secretary concerned to explain the reasons of his absence.
At the start of day’s proceedings, treasury member Allama Ghayasuddin pointed out that secretary health was not present in the gallery which was a violation of deputy speaker’s ruling of last week wherein he had specifically instructed that the secretary concerned must ensure his presence in the gallery during the question hour.
The deputy speaker took serious notice of the matter and asked parliamentary secretary Khawaja Imran Nazir to explain why the secretary of Health Departmnet was not present. He told the House that the secretary concerned was in Rawalpindi to deal with the serious situation of the dengue outbreak. The speaker said the danger of dengue outbreak was there since last week and asked why the secretary concerned chose to go there on the day when the questions pertaining to his department were to be discussed in the House.
He refused to accept the apologies by Khawaja Imran Nazir on behalf of the secretary concerned and said the entire House had been persistently complaining about the non-serious attitude of the bureaucracy regarding the questions by the people’s representatives which forced him last week to make the ruling that secretaries concerned must ensure their presence in the House during the questions of their departments. He said the question hour of health department should be deferred to some other day and a notice be issued to the secretary health. Later, members from both treasury and opposition benches criticised the Public Service Commission for what they called the prejudiced attitude towards the southern Punjab and demanded that the present policy of the PSC should be changed by

making three zones in the province with at least 40 percent quota for the southern Punjab. They said the PSC had been maintaining its policy of keeping the whole province as single unit which was the major cause of growing sense of deprivation among people of southern and northern Punjab. The deputy speaker also supported the views of the members and asked them to bring a resolution next week to determine the will of the House on the issue. He said though development works were underway in the southern Punjab yet added that the longstanding sense of deprivation among people of the southern Punjab could only be addressed by dividing the province into three zones by the Public service Commission as it had been done for the other provinces. Provincial Minister Iqbal Channar and opposition members including Sibtain Khan and treasury members including Mian Rafiq and Rana Munawwar Ghaus supported the demand of dividing Punjab into three zones for the purpose of the Public Service Commission recruitment. The members of the opposition parties showed a split on the issue of unjustified distribution of development funds and government’s discrimination and victimisation of opposition members regarding the provision of development funds. After accusing the government of depriving the opposition members of their development funds, the members of the PPP and PTI staged a token walkout from the House but the members of the PML-Q remained seated and did not join their colleagues on the opposition benches to express solidarity for their anger on the matter.
The leader of opposition Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed accused the government of approving the development schemes of the defeated members of the PML-N while ignoring those opposition MPAs whom masses had given mandate. He alleged the government's policy of victimising the opposition members which was part of its strategy to win the public support for the Local Government' elections. He criticised the government for treating the opposition members as if they were neither part of the House nor the leaders of this province. Mian Aslam Iqbal said majority of roads and streets in his constituency were dilapidated and broken but the government had ignored his schemes because the area still bore the plaques of his name wherein he had completed a number of development works. He said he had already requested the government to remove the plaques of his name and change them with the ruling party members but at least issue the needed development funds for his constituency. He asked if the residents of his constituency were not citizens of Punjab.
Waqas Hasan Mokal informed the House that the PML-N leader who lost to him was issued twenty million rupees development funds by the DCO, but all his schemes were ignored. He asked if it was the good governance which the Punajb government had been trumpeting for long. Sardar Shahabuddin also levelled similar accusations against the government regarding Leyyah where a PML-N leader defeated by him in the elections was issued Rs 25 million for development purposes while his schemes were ignored. The deputy speaker said the development funds were being issued to members according to the orders of the Supreme Court and the procedure did not breach the privilege of the members. He assured the House that wherever the privilege of any member was breached, he would intervene to protect it. He explained that the development funds were issued to the district governments only and it was their responsibility to conduct and oversee the development works. He stressed that no bureaucrat would be allowed to breach the privilege of any member of the House and strict action would be taken against such complaints.