LAHORE - The Opposition staged a walkout from the Punjab Assembly after pointing quorum on Wednesday over not getting permission for moving a resolution against recently levied regulatory duty.

Though the minister for industries supported out of turn resolution saying that he had enough arguments in support of regulatory duty recently imposed by the federal government, the chair’s refusal caused uproar in the house.

The treasury, however, managed to complete the quorum within one hour to complete the agenda of introducing two bills and laying nine reports before the house.

After completion of proceedings on Question-Hour on Communication and Works Department, Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed stood up on point of order and drew attention of the house toward imposition of federal regulatory duty. He sought permission for bringing an out of turn resolution on the issue saying the decision would bring new wave of price hike. He said people were already committing suicides due to price-hike and the government had exploded a new bomb.

Minister for Industries Sheikh Allauddin suggested the chair to allow out of turn resolution saying that he would give solid reasons for imposing this duty.

Even after support of the minister, the chair disallowed the resolution. The Opposition started chanting slogans ‘Regulatory Duty Namanzoor’ (Regulatory Duty Unacceptable).

Amid sloganeering, Opposition legislator Arif Abbasi pointed quorum. As the quorum remained incomplete even after ringing of bells for five minutes, the chair adjourned the session for 20 minutes.

The treasury managed to complete the quorum after one hour, causing rare incident of completion of agenda in near past.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah introduced The Punjab Zakat and Ushr Bill 2017 and The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017 which the chair referred to the relevant standing committees with the direction to submit reports within two months.  The law minister laid annual reports of the Punjab Public Service Commission for the year 2016 and The Punjab Pension Fund for the years 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

He laid appropriation accounts of the Forest Department for the year 2015-16. He also laid audit reports on the accounts of government of the Punjab (Works Department) C&W, HUD&PHE, Irrigation, LG&CD departments, Daanish schools & Centers of Excellence Authority for the audit year 2016-17. He also laid special audit reports on the accounts of FDA City Housing Scheme for the years 2014-15 & 2015-16. Project audit report on the accounts of Ashiana Housing Scheme (Ashiana-e-Quaid) Attari Saroba Lahore for the year 2012-13 and Additional Assembly Building Lahore for the year 2013-14 was also laid.

The minister also laid performance audit report on the accounts of construction of Chohan Dam Rawalpindi for the year 2014-15. He also laid audit report on the accounts of Public Sector Enterprises (ARFSE) for the year 2016-17.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Thursday (today) at 10am.