LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly witnessed a rare scene of pending most of the agenda items on private members day on Tuesday.

Interestingly, all four questions relating to three departments-Industries, Commerce and Investment, Labour and Human Resources and Environment Protection-were taken up during the Question Hour but only to be pended due to absence of relevant ministers and movers.

Out of 10 resolutions of public interest, eight were pended due to absence of relevant ministers or movers, one was withdrawn by the mover Neelam Hayyat Malik and the remaining was rejected by the House with a majority vote.

Expressing anger over lack of interest on the part of ministers, Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari said that all options could be used to ensure presence of responsible persons in the House. Law minister supported the viewpoint of the chair.

Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal said huge public money being spent on the House proceedings was going waste. He said that it was big injustice with those who come to the House fully prepared.

PML-N’s Azma Bukhari suggested banning entry of absent ministers for three days.

Raja Basharat also supported measures for ensuring presence of ministers in the House.

The treasury legislators opposed a resolution tabled by own colleague Uzma Kardar that called upon the government for allocating a separate lane on major roads of five large cities of the province for ambulances. PTI legislator had pointed out that traffic in large cities of the province had increased to unmanageable proportions. Interestingly, majority of the PTI members did not either read or understand what was demanded in the resolution, and wrongly took it that the mover had demanded the Metro Bus track to be allocated for ambulances. Consequently, they kept opposing the resolution by defending the Metro Bus track could not be allowed for ambulances.

Raja Basharat said constructing separate tracks for ambulances would require several billion rupees which the government could not provide at present. Mian Aslam Iqbal said how could ambulances plied on Metro bus tracks since it had no entry and exit points. He said if allowed on metro track, ambulances would have to take the wounded to Gajju Matta only where they could exit from the track.  PML-N’s Samiullah Khan pointed out that there were several entry-exit points on metro bus track which could be used for ambulances easily. He demanded that the resolution should be amended and tabled again later. But the minister asked the chair to hold the voting on the resolution, which led it to be voted out by the majority of the House.

As the mover withdrew one resolution, the remaining eight were pended due to absence of relevant ministers.

The chair expressed resentment over absence of majority of the ministers and said it showed their lack of interest in the House business. He observed that private members day had turned out to be Pending Day because of the absence of ministers.

The chair adjourned the session till Wednesday (today) at 11am.