ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said on Thursday that purpose of the proposal to enhance fine fee was to minimize road accidents.

“Revenue generation is not the main purpose behind the proposal to enhance the fine fee,” said the minister, responding to opposition member’s question in the National Assembly (NA) about transporters’ strike in Punjab over recent increase in fine.

The minister said that the proposal to enhance fine fee for over speeding on national highways and motorways had been temporarily put on hold due to concerns raised by the transporters.

“It is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which has formulated a road safety policy for the first time in the country’s history,” he said, and argued that road users would avoid over speeding because of the fear of heavy fines.

“The policy will finally be implemented after taking the stakeholders into confidence,” the minister informed.

NO PROCEEDINGS

FOR ONE HOUR

The House proceedings remained suspended for an hour due to lack of required strength. The quorum was pointed out by a treasury MNA Junaid Akbar.

Senior members of the National Assembly from the government and the opposition held a meeting at the speaker’s chamber to settle the issue.

Senior PPP MNA Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that it was the responsibility of the government to maintain required strength in the House. “The concerned ministers and secretaries should be present in the House to answer the questions of MNAs,” he stressed.

Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak assured the opposition that the government would take care of the quorum in future. He concurred with Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s contention that the concerned ministers should be present in the House.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri also cautioned the concerned ministers and federal secretaries to ensure their presence during the question-hour session.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had raised voice for the people of Kashmir. “Unlike previous governments, this government has been pleading the case of Kashmiris at international forums,” Murad said, and added, “This government has been making efforts for the unity of the Muslim Ummah, and countering Islamophobia, which results in hate speech against Muslims.”

STEPS AGAINST

LOCUSTS’ ATTACKS

Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Ameer Sultan, responding to a call-attention notice, said that an action plan had been formulated to control locusts’ attacks in Sindh and other parts of the country.

He said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved Rs460 million in July this year to counter the challenge from locusts. “There are three aircrafts, and another one will be acquired by 15th of January for aerial spray against the locusts,” he said.

“A stock of 14,000 liters of insecticide is available in Sindh, while a tender to acquire 100,000 liters of the pesticide has already been floated to meet the threat from locusts,” the parliamentary secretary said while responding to the concerns raised by opposition MNAs over the attacks by locusts.