LAHORE -  Punjab Assembly on Tuesday adopted three resolutions of public interest including action against quacks, construction of overhead pedestrian bridge between medicine market and Bahawal Victoria Hospital and timely payment of salaries, medical allowance and fixed working hours for journalists.

Out of seven resolutions on agenda, two were rejected on the pretext that government was already working on minimum wages for labourers and tax on agriculture income. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Dr Waseem Akhtar staged a walkout to protest against not presenting his resolution on agriculture income tax for voting.

Two resolutions were pended due to absence of movers. Besides two resolutions on agenda, the PA passed one out of turn resolution moved by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah regarding salaries, medical allowance and fixed duty hours for journalists.

Legislators again become one voice on the issue of raise in their salaries and other perks and privileges. On assertion of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah that the decision of committee comprising parliamentary leaders has been implemented and there was proposal of increasing salaries of MPAs annually along with government employees, one of the legislators suggested keeping parliamentarians separate from public servants.

The resolution moved by PTI’s Shehneela Ruth demanded the government concrete measures to check quackery, closure of illegal clinics and arrest of culprits spreading life threatening diseases. The PA passed the resolution unanimously.

The PA also passed the resolution moved by treasury legisalator Nighat Nasir Sheikh that demanded construction of overhead pedestrian bridge between medicine market and Bahawal Victoria Hospital across Circular Road.

Out of turn resolution moved by the law minister demanded the federal government to constitute service structure for electronic media employees on the pattern of Newspapers Employees Act. The resolution demanded timely payment of salaries, restoration of employees terminated by various media houses. The house unanimously passed the resolution.  Earlier, the session started one hour and 25 minutes beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

During Question-Hour on Forests, Wildlife and Fisheries and Irrigation, Minister Amanat Ullah Shadi Khel first denied existence of any illegal outlet on Abbasia Canal Bahawalpur but later accepted such activity on the assertion of Dr Waseem Akhtar that officials were facilitating water theft for monetary benefits. The chair directed closure of all illegal outlets and presentation of detailed report within eight days.

Disagreeing with the viewpoint of the minister that police were preparing challans after investigation, the chair directed checking misuse of Section 33 of Canal and Drainage Act. He said that implication of a person for illegal water theft without inquiry was injustice.

Expressing dissatisfaction over across the board implementation of PEDA Act, the chair referred the matter to relevant standing committee.

The PA again echoed with the unanimous demand of raise in salaries and other perks and privileges of legislators.

On a point of order, Farzana Nazir demanded increase in salaries and bringing it at par with her colleagues in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All the legislators supported her with the only exception of PTI’s Mian Aslam Iqbal who staged a walkout without uttering any word on the issue.

Rana Sanaullah said that the chief minister has already approved the summary regarding recommendations of committee of parliamentary leaders. He said that the same has been implemented. He said the committee has also recommended increase in salaries of MPAs at the same ratio as given to government employees.

Shaukat Aziz said that raise in salaries of MPAs should not be liked with that of public servants.

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