LAHORE - The Opposition in the Punjab Assembly on Monday staged walk out to mark solidarity with the wheat growers for not having official price of their crops.
As the government has cut down the procurement to 70 per cent and stopped distribution of gunny-bags whereof they are obliged to sell the commodity to the middle man at much less price.
The Opposition members also wore back bands on their arms to protest the killing of six children due to alleged negligence of the rescue department.
The session started 55 minutes late of the stipulated time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair. At the outset of the proceedings, Leader of the Opposition Mian Abdul Rashid on a point of order said the Shadbagh arson which took life of six kids, is the worst one of the city and whole responsibility for it lies on Rescue 1122 which sent the firefighters late after members of the victim family and the local continued to cry for help for one and a half hours.
Narrating the incident he said, the fire engine which reached the scene had only drive to fight fire and when attempt was made to put out fire, the van was empty of water. He said it was time to think that over 100million people of the province have been left to the mercy of such a department which receives annual budget of billions.
He said the incident was also a big question mark on the system as well as the good governance. Abdul Rashid begged for the Chair permission to present a condemnation resolution on the incident.
Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran for the Treasury said that the government benches reciprocate the sentiments of the Opposition and added, the chief minister taking a prompt notice constituted an investigation committee on to probe the incident. The House also offered fateha for departed souls.
Replying to the only question asked during the questions hour on Irrigation Department, Parliamentary Secretary Arshad Malik advocate told the House that a summary had been put before the chief minister for setting up a committee to register FIR on the cases of water theft.
Sardar Shahabuddin of the PPP said 500 acres of land of the rest houses in Layyah is not being leased out and the officers of the department are minting money out of it.
Another Opposition member Ahmad Shah Khagha on a point of order told the House that wheat growers are much upset at the moment as they are not being given gunny bags for their crops to sell it on the official price of Rs1,300 per 40kgs.
Dr Waseem Akhter of the JI blamed mismanagement of the government for this situation and added, the farmers has been crying for absorbing the stored wheat somewhere so that fresh crop could be accommodated but no heed was paid. He said the officials are giving gunny bags to the middle men instead of the farmers. To express solidarity with the growers , the JI MPA staged a walk out and Leader of Opposition and others also followed his suit and went out of the House.
The House was about to take up the government business when the PTI member Sadia Suhail Rana pointed out quorum which was not found complete despite two times counting with interval of 20 minutes. On it the Chair adjourned the session at 10am on Tuesday (today). The Chair also fixed Wednesday to debate on the law and order situation in the province.