ISLAMABAD - The Senate unanimously passed on Wednesday the “Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017” moved by Karim Ahmed Khawaja.

It provides for protection, relief and rehabilitation of rights of the transgender persons and their welfare.

The bill will enable trans-people to be recognised as they perceive themselves, and register with government offices as transgender.

Meanwhile, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, while responding to a calling attention notice said petroleum prices in Pakistan were still the lowest in south Asia.

He rejected the impression that petroleum prices were decreasing in the international market, while the same were being increased in Pakistan.

Baloch said that increase or decrease in the petroleum prices in the international market was passed on to the general public.

The minister said petroleum prices were revised on a monthly basis in the light of the commodity prices in the global market.

The house also continued farewell discussion by the outgoing senators.

As many as eight senators including Khalida Parveen, Kamil Ali Agha, Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel, Sehar Kamran, Tahir Mashhadi and  Ilyas Bilour.

They all praised Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani for his efforts for upholding the sanctity of the House as well as sovereignty of the parliament.

They emphasised the need for increasing efforts for the sovereignty of the parliament, which they believed was being marginalised.

Senator Col (retired) Mashhadi from the MQM-P who had served as senator under the leadership four chairmen including Mian Raza Rabbani said that he had learnt much, while working with the incumbent chairman.

He called for taking steps to enhance sovereignty of the parliament, which he feared was waning.

“It is the parliament which is supreme”, Mashhadi added.

Senator Kamran from the PPP emphasised the need for bringing about legislation for the strict implementation of the law.

She also praised Mian Raza Rabbani for creating a Committee of the Whole to deliberate on critical national issues.

Senator Kamran also praised the efforts of late colleague Haji Muhammad Adeel for his efforts for democracy and strengthening of the parliamentary system.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha called for addressing the grievances of the smaller provinces under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said he was proud to have remained loyal to his party.

Senator Agha requested the chairman for upholding the tradition of the House to announce one month salary for the lower staff of the Senate, which he obliged.

The house was adjourned to meet again on Thursday (today) at 3:30pm.