LAHORE - Punjab Assembly has demanded of the Federal Government to offer 2 per cent tax concession for encouraging foreign investment and creating employment opportunities in the country.

Through a unanimously passed resolution presented by Treasury legislator Sheikh Allauddin on Private Members Day on Tuesday, the House urged the Federal government to give tax relaxation for speeding up investment and for creating more job opportunities.

Three resolutions were moved out of which two were adopted unanimously while third one against drone strikes would be presented in the House on Wednesday (today) after incorporating government viewpoint in the contents.

Through another resolution moved by Treasury MPA Ch Iftikhar Ali, the House demanded tehsil status for Basirpur, a town in Okara district.

On the insistence of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal kept pending the resolution moved by PTI legislator Mian Aslam Iqbal against drone attacks till Wednesday (today) to make changes in the text acceptable for both sides of the political divide.

Original contents of resolution moved by PTI lawmaker condemned drone attacks on Pakistani soil in strong words and demanded of the Federal Government to take up the issue with the US.

He stated that drone attacks were not acceptable under any circumstances as not only innocent people were being killed but also these was sheer violation of independence and sovereignty of Pakistan.

The resolution demanded of the Federal government to close this chapter and start new era of relations and friendship with the US on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

Though not opposing directly, Rana Sanaullah suggested that the resolution was of no use as the House had already adopted one on the same subject.

He said that the Federal government has clear stance on the issue and had discussed the matter with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during his recent visit to Pakistan.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reiterated government stance on drone attacks several times. He said that the PM even spoke on National Assembly floor and in address to the nation about drone strikes and as such this resolution was unnecessary and useless.

Mian Aslam Iqbal, however, stuck to his stance and went on to state that the government should provide security to the masses and let the resolution passed. He urged the government to launch a campaign against drone strikes and act in accordance with public aspirations.

Jamaat-i-Islami’s Dr Waseem Akhtar supported the viewpoint of Aslam Iqbal and demanded the government to shoot down drones violating the Pakistani territory.

Opposition Leader Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed said that passage of resolution would strengthen and not weaken the government stance.

He said that the opposition of this resolution by Treasury would sent a message to the public that the PML-N was in favour of drone strikes.

Rana Sanaullah said that he was not opposing the resolution but wanted some changes in the text to make it acceptable for all. On the suggestion of the chair to both the sides to resolve the issue amicably, Rana Sanaullah said that the resolution would be tabled on Wednesday (today) after making necessary changes in the contents.

Earlier, the session started with one and half hour behind the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. Opposition legislators participated in the proceedings while wearing black ribbons on arms to protest against proposed holding of Local Government elections on non-party basis.

During Question Hour on higher education, PPP’s Faiza Malik questioned authenticity of department’s reply on the appointment of Vice Chancellor Lahore College for Women University, stating that the government not only violated merit and rules but also appointed VC’s wife in the same institution.

She insisted that the department has tried to mislead the House by giving wrong information. Demanding action against the department officials, she warned to bring a privilege motion if the government failed to redress her complaint.

On failure of Education Minister Mashood Ahmed Khan to give satisfactory answer, the chair asked him to take action if department had given misleading reply. 

Responding to a supplementary question, the Minister said that the government wanted to fill 4,000 vacancies of lecturers at the earliest. He said that Education Policy would be made public within three months.

To another question, he said that the Education Department would announce service structure for lecturers after getting a nod from the Finance Department.