LAHORE - Punjab Assembly Opposition yesterday was denied debate on the corruption in Punjab government which has been held leading all other provinces in this evil in a report published by an NGO, Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), on performance of all four governments in the country and the federal government.

Leader of the Opposition Mian Mahmudur Rashid urged the Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan to take up his motion out of turn for debate on the rampant corruption in Punjab departments and the government. The chair did not allow the request saying the motion would be taken up as per rules and regulations. As to whether motion was properly was filed and entertained by the office also remained a question.

This irked the Opposition leader who said performance of the House was before everyone and what the practice has been adopted to suppress debate on important issues is not sending a good message.

Secondly the Opposition requested the Chair to hold debate in the house on the spending of hefty Rs430million on the upkeep and renovation of an official building in Murree. Mian Mahmudur Rashid said it was sheer waste of the Public money at a time when there were no ventilators for the sick children, electricity and medicines in the public hospitals. The Speaker turned down the request and said this spending was on security and not a waste of the national resources.

Previously the Opposition was denied discussion in the House on a motion which related to Panama leaks revelations about Nawaz Sharif family.

After that when the Chair begun with the official business, the Opposition pointed out quorum which remained incomplete even after the Chair waited for five minutes. In this view, the House was adjourned to next day till 10am.

Previously the Opposition staged a walk out when Faiza Malik of the PPP and the Parliamentary Secretary for Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Saqlain Anwar Sipra had a verbal row over a question relating to illegally possessed hundreds of acres of state land adjacent to the shrines in Punjab.

The lady MPA said in connivance with the Zonal Manager of the Department, the land mafia had grabbed this land and urged the house to hold inquiry into the matter through a committee. She claimed on the authority of evidence that Zonal manager  has been serving the office at one station since 2008 while his nephew a clerk in the department was a dealing in property of the shrines.

The parliamentary Secretary when distinguished himself as directly elected and the lady MPA on reserved seat instead of replying to the query, caused chagrin to the Opposition benches as they all strongly protesting the Secretary’s remark, held a walkout. However, when the speaker sent MPA Nayyar Quershi and Zaeem Quershi after them, the Opposition members returned to the House.

On the call attention notice of Shahabuddin groused that guinea bags for the purchase of wheat at Rs1300 per 40kg official price were being given only to middle-men in Rajanpur and other parts of the southern Punjab. The small cultivators were kept out of selling their wheat on official price as they were not being given the bags, he complained urging the Chair to set up a committee as a sheer violation of stated policy of the government was being committed.

Minister Sher Ali Khan denied the statement and the said guinea bags were being given first to the cultivators of up to 12 acres strictly on the production of ID card and inclusion of their names in the gardawri list. However he said if the member pointed out any specific case action would be taken.

The House took up questions on the department of Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Environmental Protection and Mines and Minerals. 

Due to the absence of the Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, a numbers of motions were pended for next week.