LAHORE - Opposition in Punjab Assembly boycotted yesterday’s session and staged a walk-out, keeping momentum of protest on the issue of off-shore companies of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s children following the Panama Leaks .

Before the session started, Opposition Leader Mian Mahmudur Rasheed along with Minister for Labour Human Resources Raja Ashfaq Sarwar had welcomed the delegation of Turkish Grand National Parliament.

Soon after the assembly proceedings started, the PTI leader agitated the demand for including a pending motion on Panama leaks’ revelations about the Sharif family, in the agenda of the day. He told the House that he had received a letter from the Assembly Secretary that his motion for being contrary to the rules and regulations could not be put up before the House.

As Mian Mahmudur Rasheed was geared to announce walk out of the proceedings, one of his members Dr Afzal signalled the Opposition Leader to avoid this step in the presence of the foreign guests.

The Opposition leader, however, went on with walk out decision addressing the chair that his motion was thrown out at a time when Panama Leaks was a subject of worldwide debate.

According to Rasheed, his motion merits debate and vote which has been denied. Soon as the Opposition staged a walk out in protest, the Turkish delegation left the assembly to join Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in lunch.

In the absence of the Opposition, the House approved amended five bills on Fort Munro Development Authority, Local Governments, Forensic Science Agency, Provincial Motor Vehicles and Animal Slaughter Control.

Earlier, the House took up questions on the Local Government Department and Community Development which were answered by the relevant minister. Treasury member Ch Amjad Ali Javed invited attention of the Chair Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali that no Secretary was present in the House despite a ruling of the Chair.

On it, the deputy speaker wanted this fact to be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister.

Answering a question, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah termed the reports baseless that signals being emitted from mobile towers were casting adverse effects on the human health.

On a question on the security of parks, the minister said that after suicide blast at Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the government had issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for maintaining security arrangements.

He said data of all parks in the province have been collected and directions passed to raise walls of the parks, place walk-through gates and ensure proper security force.

When PTI member Dr Murad Ras pointed out that public departments were discriminating on political basis in the matter of public welfare jobs, the minister assured the member of strict action if any official was performing his duties on the basis of political liking or disliking.

Treasury member Sheikh Allauddin grumbled that the media was not giving proper coverage to the Assembly proceedings. The Chair said that it was not true as media was adequately covering the Assembly.

Sanaullah further pointed out the matter was quite serious and urged the chair to constitute a joint committee of both divide in the House which would not only make arrangements for proper coverage but also monitor the same on daily basis.

The Chair asked both sides to give names for the committee members and added, live coverage of assembly is so far not possible due to paucity of space however the situation would be otherwise in the under construction building of the Assembly.

Speaking on pre-budget, Treasury MPA Mian Rafiq said the 99 per cent wealth of the country is with one percent of the total population whereof social distinction has increased manifolds. He also laid stress on resetting priorities to hold rights to the people top of others.

He said our education system also needs to be changed as duality in the system was generating rulers on one the side and on other their subjects which had created social high and low to let one remain underdog forever.

He also levelled a charge of misappropriation in Rs5.5billion allocated for the education of brick-kilns children.

The women members of the treasury protested for being ignored in the award of development funds.