LAHORE – The provincial government on Thursday passed the Punjab Finance Bill 2012-13 and seven other bills, while opposition members boycotted the proceedings following their scuffles with treasury members.
The second round of the Punjab Assembly session started after a 44-minute break with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. However, he left the proceeding after the passage of the Finance Bill and the house passed other seven bills with Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhud in the chair.
The other bills include the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Bill, 2012; Punjab Agricultural Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2012; University of Health Sciences, Lahore (Amendment) Bill, 2012; King Edward Medical University (Amendment) Bill, 2012; Punjab Revenue Authority Bill, 2012; Punjab Curriculum Authority Bill, 2012; Disposal of Land by Development Authorities (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2012.
The treasury members did not look happy at the situation emerging after the opposition’s boycott . The Punjab Assembly turned into a battlefield when members of the treasury and opposition engaged in a hand-to-hand fight over Sheikh Alauddin’s vulgar remarks in the previous session about women MPAs of the opposition.
Sheikh Alauddin of the Unification Bloc, who sparked the clash on Wednesday, was not seen anywhere on Thursday as Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal suspended his membership for the current session.
Alauddin, who also heads the Punjab government’s Ashiana Housing Scheme, had used immoral language the other day against women members of the opposition, particularly PML-Q’s Seemal Kamran. The speaker suspended Seemal’s membership for the ongoing sitting of the house as well.
The Thursday’s session turned ugly when Opposition Leader Raja Riaz, on a point of order, demanded suspension of the membership of treasury member Nasim Nasir Khawaja for playing part in the unpleasant episode on Wednesday.
He said the opposition would not let the treasury to proceed for voting on the finance bill until Khawaja’s suspension. He asked the speakers to adjourn the session for half an hour and watch the video clip of hurling of a shoe at the opposition benches during Wednesday’s session.
The speaker however continued the proceedings, while the opposition started raising slogans against the government and the PML-Q member.