ISLAMABAD : The Senate was informed today that the government is giving attention to ensure quality and proper supply of medicines in the country.

Minister of State for Education and Professional Training Muhammad Balighur Rehman told the House during question hour that number of drug inspectors is being increased to ensure quality of drugs. He pointed out that during last year a number of drug licenses have been suspended and fine imposed for manufacturing substandard medicines.

To a question, the Minister of State said prices of medicines are increased as per the provisions of the Drug Pricing Policy, 2015.

He said 3272 new registration of drugs have been approved during 2015-16 out of which 360 registrations were issued to the new manufacturing license holders.

Answering a question, Minister of State informed the House that the government is given special focus on education in backward areas particularly Balochistan. He said Higher Education Commission arranges special courses in Balochistan so that the students can avail their quota of Ph.D scholarships. He said Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Programme is being implemented in backward areas. He said 12304 non-formal Basic Education Community Schools are functioning across the country.

To another question, Balighur Rehman said in the wake of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission is modifying its vocational training programme. He said it is also including teaching of Chinese language in these courses. He pointed out that 50,000 people are being given vocational and technical training during the current and the number will be increased to one hundred thousand next year. He said less-developed areas including Sindh, South Punjab, Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and some districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are being given importance in this programme.

Replying to a question, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the House that there are more than 2.6 million Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia . He pointed out that total number of Pakistani workers affected in the recent incidents in Saudi Arabia was eight thousand. He said the matter was taken up at the highest level of Saudi Government and workers have been assisted for filing the civil suits for recovery of outstanding dues from defaulted companies.

The Minister said the Pakistani mission in Saudi Arabia facilitated 2200 workers to transfer employment to other companies. Around 3200 workers who wanted final exit were assisted by the mission for early return to Pakistan, free of cost. He said the government distributed 500 million rupees to around 5500 affected workers who would not get salaries for months from their companies.