Punjab Assembly passes four amendment bills amid quorum hiccups


LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed four amendment bills and a resolution empowering the parliament to regulate matters relating to “Hindu marriages” — only after completing a broken quorum.

The opposition had withdrawn its all proposed amendments after initial defeat when Law Minister Rana Sanaullah opposed opposition’s proposed amendment to increase fine on private educational institutions in case of offence.

The house chaired by Speaker Rana Iqbal passed amendment bills — the Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Punjab Education Foundation (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Ali Institute of Education Lahore (Amendment) Bill 2015; and the Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan (Second Amendment) Bill 2015.

The resolution regarding “Hindu Marriages” reads as: “The Punjab Assembly resolves that the Majlis-i-Shoora (Parliament) may, by law, regulate matters relating to “Hindu Marriages” under Article 144 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

While the house started government business the treasury had to face embarrassment as the opposition pointed out quorum which could be completed after two calls of five and 15 minutes, respectively.

Also resolution on ‘Hindu marriages’ issue

Speaker Rana Iqbal pended five adjournment motions, while all other adjournment motions submitted by the opposition members, including Opposition Leader Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, were disposed of as the movers were not present during the House proceedings.

The pended resolutions comprised abolition of two-year BA, BSc programme and launching of four-year BS programme in the higher education institutions across the country; supply of unsafe drinking

water in hotels and restaurants by water-tankers; sugar mill boiler blast claimed lives of labourers; and injuries to many people due to stray dogs bites in a union council in Sialkot.

MPA Inamullah Niazi, on a point-of-order, told the House that an orphan girl in Daanish School, Mianwali, has died after eating poisonous meal in the school hostel.

He said the orphan girl continued crying all night but the hostel warden and other administration did not respond. Following a hue and cry by other students, he said, the hostel warden and principal took the child to the DHQ hospital where she died.

He demanded that a murder case be registered against the school principal and the warden.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the matter was being inquired into at a proper level and the report would be submitted by this evening. “If the principal, warden or any other person is found guilty, he will be taken to task accordingly,” he asserted.

Opposition members said the Sahiwal Coal Power Plant was being installed in a populated as well as agricultural area and would be hazardous for human beings, animals, crops and plants.

Minister for Mines and Minerals Shair Ali Khan said the coal projects were being installed all over the world and India was producing its 60 per cent (120,000 megawatts) energy from the coal-based plants.

He said that it was becoming impossible to generate more and more electricity without using the coal option. He said that only imported coal would be used for power generation at the Sahiwal coal power plant.

Responding to suggestion of Dr Murad Rass, Mr Khan said that nowhere in the world batteries were being used in solar power plants because the stored power fluctuate and damage grid stations.

On opposition member Mian Tariq Mahmood’s demand that the Speaker should fix one day for debate on energy crisis and projects being pursued by the government, the minister said the debate could be held in the next session and he would collect data from his department and even from the federal government to view the whole situation.

The Speaker said the issue would be referred to the Advisory Council meeting for debate in the next session.

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