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August 4, 2020

Data about labourers being collected, KP Assembly told

Peshawar

August 4, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was told on Monday that the Labour Department had started collecting data of labourers, including children, to know the exact number of people involved in labour in the province.

Replying to a question raised by Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Humera Khatoon of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Minister for Labour and Culture Shaukat Yousafzai said that until recently, there was no data in the province about the number of labourers, including children. However, he said that now the department had started collecting the data and a committee had been constituted for the purpose.

The minister said it was a fact that a large number of children worked in workshops, factories and restaurants, but the government could not ban child labour keeping in view the social and financial background of the children as in some cases they were the only breadwinners for their families. Deputy Speaker Mehmood Jan ruled that action should be taken against the departments that failed to send reply of questions two days before the agenda. He issued these directives on a question by Waqar Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) about the performance of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA).

The mover said he had sought details about the KPRA’s revenue collection but the answer column was empty. The deputy speaker directed the law minister to convey the message to the finance minister to seek an answer from his department and also direct him that in the future secretary of the department concerned would be summoned to the assembly after the answer to a question was not submitted on time.

The members of the treasury and opposition benches exchanged arguments over the issue whether the special assistants or advisers to the chief minister were authorized to present a bill for legislation. Khushdil Khan of ANP raised the objection when Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Kamran Bangash was asked to lay the Urban Areas Development Authority Ordinance, 2020. Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan argued that special assistant and advisers being part of the cabinet were authorized to present the bill.

The speaker asked the treasury and opposition legislators to resolve the matter amicably while keeping in view the traditions of the assembly. Earlier through a call attention notice, Rehana Ismail drew the attention of minister for agriculture about growing of vegetables by using sewerage and drainage nullah water. She said in Peshawar and surrounding areas most of the vegetables were irrigated by the sewerage water that was causing harm to human health. In his reply, Minister for Social Welfare Hisham Inamullah Khan said the chief minister and minister concerned had taken its notice. He said water samples had been taken from six districts including Peshawar and the Agriculture, other line departments, divisional and district administrations had been taken onboard for devising a strategy. The deputy speaker had to adjourn the sitting till Tuesday (today) at 3pm after the lack of quorum was pointed out when law minister wanted to present the KP Public Service Commission (amendment) Bill, 2020.