Govt fails to run NA business on quorum issue

ISLAMABAD   –   The coalition government, which ousted the PTI’s government on the basis of majority, yesterday failed to run proper proceedings of the house due to the lack of required quorum.

The house at the outset of the proceedings witnessed a very thin presence and could hardly remain in the session for 38 minutes. The opposition member, taking advantage of the lack of required strength in the house [86 MNAs], kept realizing the chair about the participation of the members.

A member from the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Saira Bano, in the middle of the question hour, pointed out the lack of required quorum in the house. “During the discussion on an important matter, the required quorum is not in the house. It’s just a one-way traffic in the house,” said the GDA MNA, during the question over the supply of gas from Russia. The chair had to suspend the proceedings due to the insufficient members in the house.

Earlier, a senior member of GDA Dr. Fehmida Mirza asked the reason for not entering an agreement with Russia for the provision of gas in the country.

Minister for Energy Petroleum Division Dr Musadiq Malik, responding to the question, said that there was a need to gauge impact on Pakistan before entering an agreement with Russia. Malik avoided going into the details saying that a fresh question would be required to answer this question thoroughly.

To another question, he said the ban imposed on new gas connections by the previous government will be reconsidered by the federal cabinet. “It will be our effort to revive the gas schemes where possible keeping in view the availability of gas in the country,” he said, mentioning that a project for supply of gas to various localities of district Abottabad including Circle Lower Galiyat was approved by the then federal cabinet in 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 2845.633 million.

Responding to another question, he said that Rs.1946.682 million being SNGPL share and Rs 898.951 million being federal government share. He said that the federal government has released SNGPL’s assignment account in tranches but of which Rs 421 million could be utilized till June 30, 2018 in line with the procedure for operation of the assignment account. The balance, he said, of funds of Rs 477.951 million were lapsed and the same couldn’t be validated neither by the Finance Division nor by Planning Division.

To another question, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi regretted that the previous government of PTI did not construct any motorway project in its four-year tenure.

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