LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on the last day of the 24th session yesterday legislated to restrict the child labour in the province and provide work to the adolescent, in the age group of 15 to 18, under strict conditions.

The Opposition by staging a walk out gave a field day to the Treasury to pass another two bills on Motor Vehicles. During the seven working day of the current session, the Opposition staged protest walk out four times, venting fury on the Prime Minister taking after lead from the Panama disclosures about the Sharifs companies.

In character with the past scenario, the House again underwent a very noisy situation marked by loud chanting from both sides amid calls by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, for maintaining order.

Continuation of the government business during this rumpus and the complete quorum after the Opposition had staged walkout, however, were the features that distinguished the day’s proceedings from the past.

Leader of the Opposition Mian Mahmudur Rashid, on a point of order, grumbled that the Punjab government was preparing list of the PTI workers to hold a crackdown on them to thwart their move to November 2 lockdown protest in Islamabad. “Although PTI workers are being listed for crackdown, people from the ruling elite will go to jail after November 2,” Mian warned.

With the background sloganeering against PM Nawaz, the Opposition leader held that they would not be intimated by any crackdown and reach Islamabad trampling down every hurdle under their feet. In the same breath, he leveled the responsibility on the government for any clash and violent act if way of the workers to the federal capital will be checked.

His speech entailed a spell of sloganeering on the both sides ending up at Opposition’s walkout.

That followed introduction of a bill for the establishment of Punjab Halal Development Authority to regulate and promote the trade of halal food and non-food products in the province.

Minus the Opposition, the Treasury transacted legislation on Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Bill, to prohibit child labour, up to the age of 14 years, and provide maximum seven hours’ labour to the adolescents (15 to 18 years) only on safe job during the time which does not conflict with their schooling and vocational training and ends at 7pm.

The employer would provide mandatory rest of one hour after three hours’ labour if he needed the adolescent to work more than three hours. Any dispute about the adolescent age will be settled through the Nadra certification.

On the other hand, child labour will be punishable with jail up to six months and minimum seven days and fine ranging from ten to 50 thousand rupees. The enforcement of the law will be monitored through the inspectors.

Two bills on Provincial Vehicles were passed to mandatory display the security featured number plates, registration of the motor vehicles before bringing them to the road, re-registration of the vehicles brought from other parts of the country and introduction of personalised number plates. The bills also necessitate ascertainment of fitness of the vehicles and certification thereon as prerequisite for the grant of route permit to them.

MPA Sheikh Alluaddin invited attention of the Chair to the dry River Chenab whereof farmers were highly worried as they have to necessary get water for their crops by October 31.

He said that the farmers had acquired loans from their banks for their crops on the interest as high as 18 per cent and they would ‘die alive’ if failed to get water for their crops in time.

He urged the chair to take the matter for debate in the House on urgent basis. The Speaker calling the Irrigation department put the issue at the top on the agenda of the next session.

Earlier, the House during the questions hour took the queries on Home Department. On a question the chair referred to the Home Committee the matter of revisiting the Jail Manual to streamline the same for the purpose of rehabilitation of the prisoners and proving them proper food and other facilities permissible under the law.

The session has been prorogued indefinitely.