LAHORE - Punjab Assembly yesterday transacted two bills into law to bring the drugs court in the jurisdiction of province from the federal government in line with the 18th Amendment in Constitution, and to fix the retirement age of the Principal Fatima Jinnah Medical University from 62 to 65 years.

The House, with Speaker Rana Iqbal and later Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani in the chair, carried the Punjab Drugs (second amendment) Bill to place functioning and allied matters of the drug courts under the Punjab government as the health sector has been devolved to the provinces through the constitutional amendment in 2010.

Opposition on the second bill wanted further amendment to exclusively hold MBBS qualified doctor for the office of the JFMU Principal. It further demanded at least 25 years experience for the Principal office instead of 15 years.

The House turned down both the amendments with majority vote. Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan told the House that 15 years experience was a reasonable period along with eight research papers of the aspirant for the post.

According to the minister, many complications and difficulties would crop up as to age and other related qualification of the Principal office if experience time is stipulated to 25 years. He said the retirement age of 65 would stand at par with that in vogue in other public sector universities.

In the House, a bill was also introduced to regulate poultry activity pertaining to registration of the poultry premises, improving quality of the poultry products and to ensure bio-security measures in poultry operations.

In order to thwart the government business on the said legislation, the Opposition during the course of proceedings twice pointed quorum but the treasury side managed to gather the required minimum number of 93 in the long run and completed the business.

The House, which also completed its mandatory sitting of 100 days in 21st session of the year 2015-16, took questions relating to departments of Works and Communication, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities, and the Food.

To a question on registration of hermaphrodites (eunuchs) has been carried out but only 2467 have registered themselves as voters while a huge number is shy of registration.

About the priests’ registration, the House was told that no plan to this effect was under consideration.

To a question on the hitherto non-payment sugarcane money from certain millers, the chair referred the matter to the committee concerned. Amjad Ali Javed wanted to inquiry against contractors concerned as the roads constructed with millions of rupees in Khamanawala, Toba Tek Sing and Gojra Bypass have turned into a shambles much before the time given for their durability.

C&W Minster Tanvir Aslam Malik said his department was responsible for one year for any wear and tear of the roads and after that they handed over to the district government which was supposed to maintain the infrastructure. However, he said, if they are asked in writing his department was ready to repair these roads.

The Chair called for report on the adjournment motions presented by Ch Ashraf Ali Ansari on the failure of price control committees in checking rates of the eatables in Gujranwala. The mover said prices of vegetables, fruits, pulses, and grocery items in the daily use of the poor, are skyrocketing. He presented figures of different items which showed enhancement in the prices up to 50 per cent in the recent days and blamed the committees for acting poorly on their duties.

Another motion was moved by PTI’s Shunila Ruth, Naheed Naeem and Saadia Sohail Rana to lament increase of up to 50 in the prices of 11 life saving drugs. Ch Amjad Ali Javed of the Treasury through his motion invited attention of the House to bitter ground water in Toba Tek Singh Tehsil and groused that this area has been ignored in the government Saaf Pani Project.

Ansari also moved the House on the sale of chemical-infected milk in Gujranwala which was causing serious abdominal diseases particularly to the kids.

These motions were referred to the Parliamentary Secretary for reply. The session was prorogued for indefinite period under the order of the Governor.