ISLAMABAD - Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Friday sought Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reply over the continuous absence of ministers from the Senate proceedings.

At the start of the session, members from the opposition protested over the continuous absence of the ministers and asked the chair to pass a ruling on the matter.

On this, the chairman asked Leader of the House Shibli Faraz to shed light on the matter.

However, the chairman instructed the Senate Secretariat to write a letter to the Prime Minister, informing him of the ministers’ absence and inquiring as to why these lawmakers have not been attending the house’s proceedings.

“The ministers have made a habit of not attending the Senate session,” the Chairman remarked and said that his displeasure at the ministers’ absence should also be conveyed to the Prime Minister.

“Not showing up in the Senate has become a norm,” Chairman said, adding that prime Minister should hold the ministers accountable.

On the other hand, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar tried to turn the tables on opposition benches and said that PPP Senator Sherry Rehman remains absent from the House. “A recommendation has been on the agenda for two days but she has not turned up to discuss it”, the minister said adding that millions of rupees are spent on a single session and these people do not come to the parliament.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Revenue informed the House that a committee has been formed to find out the ways to shift the people who were displaced from the land of Quaid-e-Azam University to model villages.

He was responding to a calling attention notice moved by Javed Abbasi towards the miseries of the displaced residents of Quaid-e-Azam University land, who were promised to be accommodated in the model villages by the Capital Development Authority.

The Minister of State said that in previous governments’ tenure CDA was used for political motives which destroyed the organisation.

The House resumed discussion on the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment), 2019.

Taking part in the debate, Sikandar Mandhro said the supplementary finance bill envisages no relief for the poor segment of the society.

He said relief has only been extended to the corporate sector and businesses. He said government is not fulfilling its promises made in its manifesto.

Mian Raza Rabbani termed the budget as class-oriented, benefitting the business class of the country. He said there is no relief for the common man, middle and salaried class.

He said government has increased gas and power tariffs as well as imposed new taxes on the dictation of International Monetary Fund. He said the budget carries no measures to address the issue of circular debt and revive the state owned enterprises.

Mushtaq Ahmed said prices of essential items are on the rise over the past five months. He said the government should also have in the supplementary Finance Bill announced abolishment of interest and a mechanism to recover the plundered amount.

He said Pakistan cannot achieve economic stability without breaking the debt trap.

He said concrete steps need to be taken to uplift the agriculture and industrial sectors in order to ensure sustainable development. He demanded reduction in the prices of petroleum products and medicines.

Azam Swati said previous governments are responsible for the current crisis and plight of poor people.

He said the government is taking all possible steps for the revival of economy. He said to regularise remittances Hundi and Hawala must be discouraged. The House was adjourned to meet again on Monday afternoon.