ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Tuesday announced to double the development funds for Parliamentarians from Rs 10 million to Rs 20 million for the fiscal year 2009-10 while the Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Babar Awan assured the House that subsidy on electricity would not be withdrawn till the load-shedding ended completely. Speaking in the National Assembly, he said that the decision had been taken after the House unanimously passed the budget for the fiscal year 2009-10. Today is last day of the budget session, therefore, I announce to increase the development budget of all the parliamentarians from Rs 10 million to Rs 20 million, he remarked. Referring to 'the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill 2008 moved by Yasmin Rehman for the sake of protection of women, children and family, the Prime Minister said that it was a good bill and the standing committee had finalized its deliberations over it. We are part of a Muslim society and it is at the top of government agenda to adhere to the teachings of Islam and address the problems confronting the marginalized sections of society, he underscored. The Prime Minister said that the government was committed to protecting the rights of oppressed members of society. He said that all over the world there were laws for the protection of women and children and their rights. This bill is an important tool for the protection of women and childrens rights, he said adding that the bill would have a positive impact on the society. Meanwhile, responding to points of order of various lawmakers in which they had raised the issue of power outages in the country, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan said that as long as load-shedding was being resorted to, the subsidy on electricity would not be withdrawn. Masses are already in distress of financial burden thus more burden must not be imposed on their drooping shoulders, he stated. The Minister further said that if Karachi Electric Power Supply Company (KESC) did not mend its ways then the government would have no other option but to nationalize it again. Awan made it clear that the KESC was becoming a serious problem for the masses. He said that load-shedding must not be undertaken unannounced but a proper timetable must be maintained. He urged the people to keep a vigil on line losses, specially the 'kundas which resulted in the whole sector or mohallah paying for the mischief of one person. He said that he personally had some serious reservations about the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) laws and he only yesterday chaired a meeting to revisit the laws which were not 'people friendly. He said that he would ask the relevant Wapda officials to resort to power cuts according to a fixed timetable so that the peoples schedule was not affected. The Minister assured the House that the government would not remove the subsidy from electricity till the time the load-shedding was completely done away with. The Minister said that the government was ready to give the provinces their rights under the Constitution, which was also enshrined in Peoples Partys charter. Earlier, MQMs Deputy Parliamentary Leader Haider Abbas Rizvi underlined the need for enhancing the power generation capacity and reducing the line losses to bridge the widening gap between demand and supply. Speaking on adjournment motion in the National Assembly, he regretted that there was not a single city in the country where 24-hour electricity supply was ensured. He said the entire country was facing the problem of unscheduled load-shedding, which is leaving bad psychological impacts on masses. He criticized the policies of National Electronic Power Regulatory Authority, DISCOs and KESC for not overcoming the load-shedding problem. MQM MNA S.A. Iqbal Qadri said that there was huge capacity for power generation in Karachi but KESC was cheating the government by not running its plants creating demand-supply gap. Chief whip for PML(N) Sheikh Aftab urged the government to ask OGRA not to enhance petroleum prices. He also called upon Balochistan Chief Minister to protect the settlers in the Province who were being forced to leave. Humayun Saifullah said that under Article 157 of the Constitution, the provinces had the right to construct their own power generation houses but the private power producers had limited their capacity to mere 50 megawatt. Changez Khan Jamali said that under the 1991 water accord, water share to the provinces could not be reduced but the share of Balochistan, which was just 12,000 cusecs had been cut nearly 40 per cent under one pretext or the other. He said that the National Bank of Pakistan had abolished the Quetta region and said a number of its officers were not performing their duties and were corrupt. He said the names of these persons should be put on Exit Control List and an inquiry initiated against them. Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, who was in the chair, asked Dr Babar Awan to inquire into the apprehensions of the member and report back to the House. Kundi said that members from NWFP too had many reservations about the working of National Bank which should also be looked into. Rasheed Akbar Khan said that the head of Zarai Taraqiati Bank too is an arrogant person. Minister of State for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar assured the House that the government was cognizant of inflation in the country and through various steps had brought it down from 25 per cent to 14 per cent. Speaking in the National Assembly on a Calling Attention Notice, she vowed to bring the inflation in the next month to single digit. It is because of the steps that the government has taken that the inflation has come down, she added. Hina Rabbani said that giving subsidy on petroleum had never been the right policy since Pakistan did not produce petroleum and its related products. She said that petroleum import involved precious foreign exchange and all the relevant taxes and surcharges had to be paid. She said that the aim of levying carbon surcharge on petrol was to discourage the people from using petroleum and switch on to alternative energy resources. She said that the aim behind increasing banks mark-up rate was to take a direct hit on inflation. She said that there were a number of kitchen items which had shown a downward trend which included cooking oil, Basmati rice, eggs and other items of daily use. The ECC has taken a serious note of rise in the price of sugar which has increased by 50 per cent over the last fiscal year, she stated. The Minister said that this year Pakistani farmers had been paid Rs 290 billion for the purchase of wheat crop by the government. Replying to a question about non-transfer of impact of oil price reduction by the PIA and Pakistan Railways, she said these two institutions were already 'bleeding. They are not earning any profit and the government has to give them subsidy, Hina Rabbani added. Print and electronic media reporters held a protest and walk-out from the press gallery to condemn police torture on a private TV channel reporter in Lahore. Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Faisal Karim Kundi condemned the event and Senator Babar Awan assured to take stringent actions against the responsible persons. Pakistan Peoples Party Ministers Nazar Gondal, Mehreen Anwar Raja, Azeem Daultana (Parliamentary Secretary of Information and Broadcasting) and Chairperson BISP Farzana Raja tried to negotiate with media persons after walk-out and assured a transparent inquiry from the government. Deputy Speaker NA Faisal Kundi condemned the police attitude and demanded investigation report to be presented in the House saying that independent media was very important for parliamentary apex. As many as ten private members bills tabled by Members National Assembly were referred to concerned Standing Committees for legislation on Tuesday as the government did not oppose those bills while three bills had been deferred and one bill was rejected by the House after voting. The bills referred to the Standing Committees included Pakistan Pharmacy Council Bill, 2009; The Regulation of General, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2009; The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2009; The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Insertion of new section 337LA and amendment of schedule II); The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Insertion of new section 54A); The Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009; The Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Amendment of Schedule); The Senior Citizens Bill, 2009; The Protection of Children Bill, 2009; The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Amendment of sections 36 and 41) and The Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Amendment of Section 16A). The bill moved by Parveen Masood Bhatti to further amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 [The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment ) Bill, 2009 was rejected by the House as the government opposed the bill. Three bills tabled in the National Assembly were deferred. These bills included The Agriculture Pesticides (Amendment) Bill, 2009, The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Insertion of new section 544B) and The Capital Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2009 (Amendment of section 12 and insertion of new section 46CC). Member Pakistan Muslim League (N) Rana Afzal also tabled a privilege motion in the National Assembly against Pakistan International Airline (PIA) staff irresponsible attitude. Tabling the privilege motion in NA, Rana Afzal said that he reserved a seat in economy plus on 22 June on a PIA flight coming to Islamabad from Lahore but when he arrived at Lahore Airport he was informed at the check-in counter that his booking for a seat in economy plus did not exist and only a chance seat was available in economy class. National Assembly forwarded his motion to privilege committee after no opposition from federal ministers of parliament. The session was adjourned sine dine by Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi.