LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed three bills amid uproar caused by the Opposition’s protest inside the House over the issue of alleged land grabbing in DG Khan by Deputy Speaker Sardar Shair Ali Gorchani.
It all started when the Deputy Speaker who was chairing the sitting at the time did not allow Sardar Ali Raza Dareshak, a PTI member from Rajanpur, to move an adjournment motion against him, out of turn. Gorchani argued that since he was conducting the session he could not allow such a motion to be tabled in the House. He, however, offered himself to scrutiny by the media and the Opposition, but outside the Assembly chamber.
The Opposition was not ready to budge an inch from their position and went on with their protest while the Deputy Speaker moved on to the legislative business.
The Opposition members led by Mian Mahmoodur Rashid tore apart copies of the bills and threw them into the air, creating a hail-like effect. The Assembly floor was seen littered with pieces of white paper towards close of the Thursday sitting.
The lawmakers also approached Speaker’s dais and chanted slogans against the chair. When they were short of slogans, they resorted to singing national song which made the Deputy Speaker laugh though he was sweating sitting in his cozy chamber.
As the protest gained momentum, at least seven sergeants-at-arms guarded Gorchani while he was conducting legislative business in utmost haste.
Citing a newspaper report, Sardar Ali Raza Gorchani alleged that Deputy Speaker had encroached upon Auqaf land by kicking out the tenants with the help of local police, a charged later denied by Gorchani in his media talk after the session.
“Being the highest bidder, my brother has got the land in question in accordance with the law”, he maintained, adding, that Dareshak Sardars had been occupying this land illegally for the last over many years.
He further explained that his brother had obtained this piece of land measuring two squares on lease from the Auqaf Department.
The Assembly adopted The Punjab Livestock Breeding Bill, 2014 to regulate livestock breeding services, improve genetic potential of breeds and protect indigenous breeds of livestock in Punjab.
Though the Opposition had submitted an amendment motion, but it did take part in the legislative business. Its members kept raising slogans against the Deputy Speaker throughout the legislative part of the House proceedings.
Through this legislation, the government would have the necessary legal cover to develop an excellent pedigree performance recording system, certified sale of semen and quality services to elevate the reproductive and productive efficiency of livestock. This would also increase production of milk, meat and mutton.
In the statement of objects and reasons, it has been stated that due to non-existence of a regulatory framework, private semen production units were emerging like mushrooms and producing semen of unknown pedigree resulting in deterioration of livestock genetic potential. Furthermore, the quality of semen is substandard.
The government has confessed in the statement that efforts for genetic improvement of livestock had not been successful, as it should have been, due to lack of legal basis to regulate public and private sector breeding services.
The legislation is also meant to check unapproved training institutes cropping up in the province to train the artificial insemination service. The duration of training in these private institutes, according to the official version, varies from one week to three months whereas the public sector is imparting training of two years duration. The result is that untrained and unskilled artificial insemination service providers are being produced which is further aggravating the situation through damaging the reproductive system of the breeding animals.
In the chapter of penalties, it has been written that any person violating requirements of this law may be imprisoned for one year and a fine amounting to Rs 0.5 million can also be imposed.
Through amendment in the Punjab Civil Servants Act, 1974, the Assembly approved merger of services of those Federal officers into the provincial service whose services have been transferred to the province in the wake of 18th amendment in the Constitution.
The House also approved an amendment in the Punjab Employees Efficiency and Discipline and Accountability Act, 2006 to provide fair chance of appeal to a government servant in the Services Tribunal against decision of the competent authority.