LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly yesterday adopted two resolutions of public interest as the Opposition ended boycott after successful negotiations first with the government team and then the speaker.

The Opposition stayed away from the house proceedings for two days to protest against what they believed biased attitude of the chair. Like the previous working day, legislators from the Opposition continued boycott with the exception of Asif Mehmood who only come to perform the ritual of pointing quorum. Lack of quorum caused the chair to adjourn the proceedings for half an hour. But it took one hour to the treasury to bring legislators in required number to the house for restarting proceedings. Following second round of talks, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal that the Opposition was waiting for him in the chamber for removing some reservations. In the absence of the speaker, treasury legislator Azma Zahid Bokhari conducted the proceedings for a brief period.

After the return of the Opposition to the house, the PA passed two resolutions unanimously. Out of eight resolutions on agenda on private members day, five were pended while one was withdrawn by the mover after assertion of Rana Sanaullah that no educational institute or seminary has material in syllabus that promote sectarianism or foment hatred against any religion.

Through a resolution, treasury legislator Hina Pervaiz Butt suggested taking measures to free syllabus of schools, colleges and seminaries from hate material.

Sana said there was no question of hate material in syllabus of any of the educational institution. He said the government had thoroughly screened all 15,783 seminaries in the province with registration of teachers and students. He said that syllabus of all the seminaries had been checked. Sana said government had complete record of 8,000 foreigners studying in these seminaries. Satisfied with the arguments of the law minister, Hina Pervaiz Butt withdrew the resolution.

PTI’s Dr Nausheen Hamid moved a resolution regarding construction of service lanes for cyclists/motorcyclists along major roads to cope with ever increasing traffic load. The house unanimously passed the resolution.

The house also passed the resolution moved by treasury legislator Dr Alia Aftab regarding installation of waste treatment plants at all industrial units in the province as per the law.

Earlier, the session started one hour and five minutes beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Iqbal in chair.

During Question-Hour on specialized healthcare and medical education, Malik Arshad said that majority of the seats of specialists had been laying vacant for several months at a big hospital in Sahiwal.

Minister SH&ME Kh Salman Rafiq said the government was taking surety bonds from postgraduate trainee doctors for performing duties in rural areas. He said this practice had been started in 2015 to ensure availability of specialists in far flung and rural areas.

Questions of Opposition legislators were disposed off due to their absence from the house.

The minister said that all the DHQ Hospitals in the province would get CT Scan machines by the end of 2017. Besides doubling the number of ventilators at hospitals in Lahore, he said, this facility would be provided at DHQ/THQ levels. He said that there were two cardiac surgeons at Mayo Hospital who on average were performing 15-18 procedures every month. He said that consultant fee at Mayo Hospital was Rs400 per visit. Consultants were getting 55 per cent as consultants share. After deduction of 10 per cent income tax, the consultants get Rs198 on every visit. He said that Punjab Institute of Mental Health and all teaching hospitals were providing treatment to addicts and mentally sick patients. He said that PIMH was providing free medicines at OPD and in wards besides free meals, laboratory and laundry facilities. He said that psychiatrists at PIMH were visiting jails twice in a month for checking mentally ill prisoners. He said these specialists supervise treatment of these jail inmates. He said that the government had approved 61 new slots for clinical psychiatrists which would be filled soon.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till today (Wednesday) morning.