LAHORE - Legislators from across the political divide resorted to allegations and counter allegations during general debate on price control at Punjab Assembly on Thursday.

The PML-N and PPP legislators accused the government of making wrong decisions and policies that resulted into the hike in prices of essential commodities. The treasury members held the previous regime responsible for the miseries of the masses.

The session started one hour and 18 minutes behind the scheduled time with panel of chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi in the chair. Minister for Higher Education Department Raja Yasir Hamayun gave answers of lawmakers’ queries during the question-hour.

Taking part in the general debate, PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza termed hike in prices of commodities failure of the PTI government. He said that the prices of commodities further increased whenever the PM took notice. “The sugar price increased from 45 to 90 rupees per kilogram and there was 500 % increase in the price of medicines after PM’s notice,” he said. He added that the flour bag’s price increased from 700 to 1100 while government gave benefit to mafia by increasing the petrol price by 25 rupees per liter. He said that Jehangir Khan Tareen had been used for five years and then the PTI-led government helped him in fleeing from Pakistan. Treasury members resorted to sloganeering to interrupt vocal legislator from the PPP.

PML-N’s Saba Sadiq demanded resignation from the Chief Minister (CM) for failure to give any relief to the masses. She said that prices of flour, sugar and cooking oil increased in recent days at the utility stores.       

Treasury legislator Uzma Kardar said that those talking about Sindh could not satisfy the country’s top court on wheat theft. She claimed that the government gave subsidies to the people while previous rulers were only busy in making properties abroad.

Concluding the general debate, Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal said that both the PML-N and PPP had been in the power since long so what they had done for the masses. It was the result of their flawed policies that ruined the country. The previous regime had been involved in making properties abroad, enjoying on public money, creating corruption mafia and now on what ground they were asking about the country’s economy, said Aslam Iqbal.

Earlier, PPP’s Syed Ali Haider Gillani questioned establishing the South Punjab Secretariat in Bahawalpur. Speaking on a point of order, he said that it was tantamount to deprive the MPAs and masses of Multan. “Where the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) and AIG office would be. Law Minister should clarify,” Gillani said.  Law Minister Raja Basharat said that the House would be informed in this regard soon.

During the question-hour on higher education, minister Yasir Hamayun admitted that the vacancies of the teachers were lying vacant in public sector colleges. He said the vacant seats could not be filled due to unavailability of funds.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Friday (today) at 9am.