ISLAMABAD Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf has said that the government is giving Rs 55 billion subsidy on electricity while the circular debt of WAPDA has reduced to Rs 280 billion. Responding to a calling attention notice in the National Assembly regarding the sluggish recovery of dues by the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) exposing energy sector to circular debt, the Minister said that during 2003 to 2007, the circular debt of WAPDA had increased to Rs 400 billion. He added that the circular debt was a result of the gap between the generation cost and service charges of electricity but the government has done a great job to reduce this debt. He also said that the government was still working to further reduce the circular debt. The Minister explained that the government was giving the subsidy of Rs 55 billion on electricity as the generation cost, by using oil, per unit Rs 10.20, whereas the government charges per unit around Rs 5. He informed the Lower House that PEPCO has to recover dues from governments departments and the private sector institutions. He said that the federal government would adjust the dues owed to the provincial governments and its attached departments while the connections of private sector entities that have failed to pay bills, would be disconnected. Earlier, responding to a point of order regarding loadshedding in Faisalabad, Ashraf informed the House that traders and power looms industries of Faisalabad have called off the strike against power outage realising the real situation and efforts by the government. He said that on the directives of the Prime Minister he visited Faisalabad and met traders, members of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and power looms representatives. On the private member day in National Assembly, Legislators introduced three bills in the House. The Chairperson referred these bills to the respective standing committees, as the government did not oppose any bill. The bills include Pakistan Private Hospitals, Clinics and other Private Healthcare Units Regulatory Authority Bill 2010, the Foreigners (Amendment) Bill 2010 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2010. MNA Nisar Tanveer, Muhammad Riaz Malik, Tahira Aurengzeb, Imtiaz Sultan Bukhari and Rana Mahmoodul Hasan introduced Pakistan Private Hospitals, Clinics and other Private Healthcare Units Regulatory Authority Bill 2010. Introducing the bill, Nisar said that according to WHO report more than 80 per cent of private hospitals, clinics and other private healthcare institutions are unregistered. Quacks are playing with the lives of innocent people and the bill focuses that all the private hospitals and clinics should be registered. The bill was sent to concerned standing committee, however, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mehreen Razzaq Bhutto said that such bills were already in the provincial assemblies but it would be better to consider it for more suggestions. Presenting 'The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill 2010, Shireen Arshad Khan said that purpose of her amendment bill was to cover the lacunae of the prevailing Foreign Act 1946 with an aim to ensure better protection of foreigners in general and refugees in particular. Marvi Memon for her Constitutional (Amendment) Bill said that it was an electoral reform bill and through this she wanted amendments for free and fair elections and to further strengthen the democratic values, it is imperative to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan and to make it free and independent through constitutional provisions. She said that the bill caters a process for appointing an Election Commissioner. On the point or order, Minister for Environment Hamidullah Jan Afridi urged the MPs to protect the green belt of National Assembly and stop using it as car parking. The Minister drew the attention of the Chair towards using the green belt as parking instead of the actual parking. MNA Nadeem Afzal Chan on the point of order said that Leader of the Opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan should come to the Lower House to inform the MPs about his partys stance on the judges appointment. On the point of order, Sher Muhammad Baloch alleged that the members of Sindh Assembly were involved in land grabbing and most of them have become ministers after selling the grabbed land of Malir. He was of the saying that there was no writ of the government in Sindh and focus of the incumbent government was only on constitutional reforms. Shery Rehman on the point of order said that the constitutional reforms should not become a cause of clash between the political parties of the country. She said that the government wanted to bring it with consensus. It is a chance for introducing reforms and we should not let it go. The party having objection on the Parliaments role in judges appointment may discuss the process of judges appointment being adopted by the world in National Assembly, she said. Later, responding to a calling attention notice regarding the non-existence of a policy to check the high fees being charged by private schools in Islamabad, Minister of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathya underscored the need for authorising Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) for the formulation of fee structure of private institutions. He said that the PEIRA was established in 2006 to monitor the affairs of private educational institutions in Islamabad but it was not given the authority to check the fee structure. He said that to further expand the powers and jurisdiction of PEIRA for maintaining a detailed check on the affairs of the private educational institutions, provinces could be taken on board. He was of the view that private educational institutions sometimes charge heavy dues but on the other hand they do not pay satisfactory salaries to their teachers. He also urged to regulate the pay structure of teachers of private institutions, as this would certainly improve the quality of education.