ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday marked his one-hour long presence in the National Assembly after over two months, spending most of the time interacting with treasury lawmakers on his seat, during the proceedings of the House.

The lawmakers from ruling party (PTI), in a shape of flock, were seen near the seat of leader of the house till the time he remained in the House.

Earlier, the MNAs from government benches warmly welcomed the prime minister upon his arrival with desk-thumping.

Despite the criticism from opposition members, most of the back-benchers from treasury side were seen shaking hands one by one with the leader of the house [Prime Minister] and some also seen conveying their ‘issues’ by whispering in his ear. Some of them also did not hesitate to give piece of paper [perhaps applications], after hurriedly conveying their issues and leaving the place for his/her next colleague.

The PTI’s lawmakers, in the previous government, used to strongly criticise former prime minister for not participating in the house and mostly spending time interacting with party’s  members during proceedings.

On Wednesday, the house saw almost the same situation until Prime Minister Imran Khan left the house. The opposition parties’ members, mainly from back-benches, loudly shouted when the prime minister was leaving the house.

The opposition MNAs waved placards inscribed with anti-government slogans against the recent hike in petroleum prices but did not interrupt rest of the proceedings.

About the presentation of report regarding Prime Minister’s specific question-hour, Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said it was the wish of the government to go for proper legislation on this matter.

He said that the sub-committee meeting on the same issue will be held soon. “Already, government is working on it and the recommendations of opposition will also be incorporated,” he said.

The house further witnessed presentation of four bills including “The Islamabad Capital Territory Domestic Workers Bill, 2019”, “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019”, (Article 51 and 59), “The Protection of Persons against forced Religious Conversion Bill, 2019” and “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2019”.

All the bills were referred to the concerned standing committees.

The chair swiftly also disposed of rest of the agenda without taking any ‘point-of-order’ by opposition or government members.

The four reports on legislative proposals were referred to the Standing Committees on Law and Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Justice Riaz Fatyana presented three reports of the Committee on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 106), the Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 37).

On behalf of the Chairman Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, a PTI lawmaker Noor Alam Khan presented report on the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, responding to a call attention notice, informed the House that State Bank of Pakistan has started a scheme with the funding of World Bank to provide loans to the farmers below the market rates. He said nine billion rupees have been allocated for this purpose.