LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution for legislation on compulsory medical checkup of students in all public and private educational institutions on an annual basis.

The House, which started proceedings two hours behind the schedule at 12noon with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair, passed another resolution to enact laws against quackery, soothsayers, fake faith healers and a crackdown on those practicing this business and those involved in its advertisement.

On the private members’ day, two bills were introduced in the House. Leader of the Opposition Mian Mahmoodur Rashid introduced the Punjab Regulation of Public Infrastructure Projects Bill 2017 and minority member Ramesh Singh introduced Punjab Anand Karaj Bill 2017. MPA Asif Mahmood wanted to introduce Punjab Cleaning Products Safety Bill but Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan opposed it on the ground that certain financial implications involved in the bill needed to be discussed with the Punjab government in the first instance. On this, the bill was pended for further consideration. The law minister opposed introduction of the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) bill from Mian Mahmoodur Rashid on the plea that penalties and fines sought to be enforced thereof were already in place under various sections of the PPC and the Ordinance for hazardous riding of motorbikes.

The opposition leader however tried to convince the minister that he had sought a separate lane on every 80 feet wide road in the city for motorcyclists so that their riding does not pose any risk to their own and others’ lives. The bill was pended for further consideration when both sides pressed their point of view. Gulnaz Shehzad MPA withdrew her Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children (Amendment) Bill when the law minister told her that the Punjab government had already done a comprehensive legislation on this subject.

Earlier, Treasury member Azma Bokhari wanted the House to appreciate Ayesha Gulalai of the PTI for standing up against her party head on the issue of harassment and having a petition against her party membership dismissed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Her utterance spurred the Opposition to countermove but the Chair controlled the uproarious situation by not allowing Azma to speak anymore or raise the issue.

Earlier, during the question hour on the department of forests, wildlife and fisheries, Parliamentary Secretary Fida Hussain failed to satisfy the opposition. The Chair then held by Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani, entrusted a question to the standing committee when an issue erupted as to under what authority the Forest Land in Rajanpur had been given to other departments when a restriction was in place in this regard by the order of the Supreme Court. After an unsatisfactory answer to a question from Arif Abbasi on illegal possession of forest land in Murree by influential people, the Chair entrusted the issue to the PA Committee.

The Opposition member, Dr Murad Raas, on a point of order invited attention of the House to inadequate fire alarm and fire fighting system at big commercial plazas, hospitals, schools and fuel stations in the city.

Parliamentary Secretary Siddiq Butt said the department concerned was ensuring proper firefighting system at private buildings. Dr Raas pointed out absence of a proper mechanism to keep a regular check on firefighting system at private buildings. He cited example of a big department store at Liberty that was gutted due to a lack of fire safety system. The parliamentary secretary said a commission had been set up to regularly see if buildings were equipped with proper firefighting system.

After completion of the agenda, the Chair put off further proceedings of the session till 10am on Wednesday (today).

 

SAJID ZIA