ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly, in a rare incident, saw a treasury benches members criticising their own government over recent increase in prices of 94 medicines. However, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs defended the government saying it had controlled the black marketing in the current regime’s era.

The lawmakers from government benches, on a call-attention notice relating to increase in prices of medicines, strongly opposed the recent increase in prices of especially 94 drugs. 

“Poor people of the country have no capacity to purchase medicines as the prices have intcreased manifold,” said PTI’s MNA from Southern Punjab, proposing to drop down the prices with the consent of members in the house.

Supporting the viewpoint of his party members, Noor Alam said the prices of medicines were increased thrice in the current government era. 

“This is not affordable for the poor people,” he said, mentioning that they had been elected on PTI ticket and stood by their leader but they would also speak against injustice. He also raised question over the credibility of those appointed at helm of affairs of the Ministry of National Health. 

Another senior member Riyaz Fatiyana criticised the recent increase in prices of medicines. He said there was a need to revisit the prices. He further said that the decision should be taken by elected and not non- elected people.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf asks government to take back resolution passed by NA against PDM’s public rally

State Minister for parliamentary affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, responding to the concerns raised by his party colleagues defended that the incumbent government had controlled black marketing for the first time in the country. “This government had linked increase of prices of medicines with Consumer Price Index (CPI). He further said that the medicines were available in market with controlled prices. “Under the patronage of Prime Minister Imran Khan, all possible steps are being taken to provide relief to the masses,” he said.

PPP-P parliamentary leader and former prime minister Raja Perviaz Ashraf rushed to take the floor to appreciate the members from treasury benches to criticise his own government for raising voice over the increase in the prices of medicines.He also asked the government to take back the resolution passed from the house other day [Wednesday] against the PDM’s public rally. “This trend of passing resolution is not good, as it is the right of opposition to raise voice against injustice,” he said.

PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif also came down hard on PTI government for increasing prices of medicines. The opposition also raised objections over introducing ordinances in the house. “Why are you [Government] making the house an ordinance factory,” said PPP-P MNA Naveed Qamar.

Earlier, the government side introduce a bill entitled ‘The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Bill, 2020’, which was strongly opposed by the opposition. The bill seeks to establish China Pakistan Economic Corridor authority to further accelerate the pace of CPEC related activities. “It aims to find new drivers of economic growth , unlock the potential of interlinked production network and global value chains through regional and global connectivity,” according to the bill.

The statement of objective of the bill says, “It would develop sound and implementable public policy by integrating advice of stakeholders in decision making process and utilization of all available resources to achieve optimal results and for effective and efficient management in line with MoU between National Development and Reform Commission of People’s of china and the Ministry of Planning Development and Special initiatives of Pakistan on outline of the Long Term Plan of CPEC,”.

With the outset of the proceedings, the opposition members tried to disrupt the proceedings of the house by pointing out lack of quorum. “The house is not running according to the described rules and regulations,” said PPP-P’s parliamentary leader Raja Perviaz Ashraf. His colleague Shagufta Jumani pointed out lack of required strength but the house was in order.