LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly Monday witnessed rare incident of completion of proceedings on Question Hour within half of the allocated time due to absence of most of the legislators whose quires were on the agenda.

Acting Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani disposed off large number of questions due to absence of movers, causing taking up all the queries in about half an hour.

The session started two hours and 15 minutes behind the scheduled time and adjourned after an hour and five minutes proceedings as opposition legislator pointed out quorum at the start of government business.

As the quorum did not complete after ringing of bells for five minutes, the PA could not carryout legislation on two important bills on the agenda, ie The Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 and The University of Okara Bill 2015.

During Question Hour on Planning and Development and Mines and Minerals departments, Minister Ch Sher Ali and parliamentary secretary Malik Ahmed Karim Kiswar Langrial answered the queries about their relevant departments.

Out of 16 questions on the agenda, 10 were disposed off due to absence of movers while legislators raised few supplementary queries on the remaining six.

Opposition legislators come down hard on the parliamentary secretary Ahmed Saeed Kiswar Langrial for contradictory answers on the same query. The chair pended the question for detailed reply from the department. To the question that how many IT institutions were working in Lahore division, the answer on list of stared questions was that there was no such department. The reply on the list of non stared questions was that Punjab Information Technology Board was such an institution in the government sector.

Sardar Hassan Akhtar Moakal said that why replies of the same question were contradictory. The chair pended the question and asked the hapless parliamentary secretary to get a detailed and clear reply from the department.

To a question on giving contract of mining in Chiniot to a bogus company, Ch Sher Ali admitted misappropriation saying that that the previous regime gave the task to ERPL which was cancelled by the present government. The Lahore High Court rejected the petition of ERPL and directed NAB to investigate the matter. The NAB closed the case as the agreement between the government and the ERPL was not implemented. However, inquiry was still pending with the Anti Corruption. Sher Ali said that the department would take legal opinion from the Law Department for carrying out proceedings against ‘corrupts’ involved in striking a deal with a fake company.

After completion of agenda on Question Hour, the House took up one privilege motion and 15 adjournment motions. The adjournment motions were either disposed off due to absence of movers or pended due to lack of reply from the relevant departments.

At the start of proceedings on government business, opposition legislator Ahsan Riaz Fatyana pointed out the quorum which did not complete after ringing of bells for five minutes. The chair adjourned the session until Tuesday (today).