Saturday July 02, 2022

‘Govt has extended subsidy of Rs30 bn to consumers through USC’

August 11, 2021
‘Govt has extended subsidy of Rs30 bn to consumers through USC’

ISLAMABAD: A verbal clash between the government and the opposition members in the National Assembly (NA) was averted on Tuesday after a PML-N parliamentarian called the incumbent regime as ‘thieve’ while mentioning alleged corruption in COVID-19 fund.

Former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, while speaking on a point of order, accused government of embezzlement of Rs3 billion in COVID-19 fund and called the same ‘thieve’. Murtaza Javed Abbasi also accused the government of not obeying verdict of the Supreme Court with regard to issuance of gas connection.

The unpleasant situation was about to erupt when the Minister of Stated for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said he could give befitting reply to language used by the opposition member but would avoid any remarks which would once create bad taste in proceedings of the House which otherwise has been experiencing a peaceful atmosphere for the last over a week.

On demand of the Minister of State, the Presiding Officer Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi expunged the word ‘thieve’ which infuriated the PML-N members. Ali Gohar Baloch said as to how the word ‘thieve’ which the government has been using for the last three years, could be expunged. “If you expunge the word thieve then you will have to expunge last three years proceedings of the National Assembly,” he said.

The PML-N member Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Ms. Nuzhat Pathan of PTI objected holding proceedings of the National Assembly during the month of Muharramul Haram. Riaz Pirzada said that it was heard that government was planning to convene joint session of two house of the Parliament on August 13 which he said should be delayed to show respect to the holy month.

The PPP parliamentarian Agha Rafiullah, while feeling absence of ministers in the House, said had the prime minister included elected people in the federal cabinet, they should have attended the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly was informed on Tuesday that the government has extended a subsidy of thirty billion rupees to the consumers through Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

Responding to a calling attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Industries and Production Aliya Hamza Malik said the prices of essential commodities including ghee, rice, pulses, flour and sugar remained constant at the utility outlets from February 2020 to 27th July, 2021.

She said, “We have also taken Utility Stores Corporation towards profitability and its sales have also enhanced significantly.” Six bills were also laid in House including The Constitution Amendment Bill (Amendment in Article 27), the Trade Organisations Amendment Bill 2021, The Constitution Amendment Bill (Amendment in Article 59), The Drug Regulatory Amendment Bill, 2021, Pakistan Medical Commission Amendment Bill and Islamabad Capital Territory Destitute and Neglected Children Bill, 2021. The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned.

The National Assembly also passed a motion moved by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan to refer the Islamabad Capital Territory Food Safety Bill, 2020 to joint sitting of the Parliament.

The bill was okayed by the National Assembly but was not passed by the Senate within 90 days of laying in the Upper House of the Parliament. The bill would envisage establishment of a food authority to ensure food items at hotels, restaurants, shops etc.