Govt admits ‘lack of interest’ by ministers, secretaries in PA | The Express Tribune


Admitting the lack of interest and continuous absence of ministers and secretaries of relevant public departments in the Punjab Assembly proceedings, Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja sought a ruling from the Panel of Chairmen to ensure their presence in the House.

The proceeding of the Punjab Assembly (PA) was marred by what the opposition MPAs termed “lack of interest” by the ministers and secretaries of the departments concerned in the assembly’s business.

The matter came under discussion after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers grilled the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government over the “non-seriousness” of its ministers and department’s secretaries in the business of the Punjab Assembly.

As the House proceedings started with the lapse of two hours and 50 minutes under the chair of the Panel of Chairmen Mian Shafi, he first panned the question-hour session on industries, commerce and investment department owing to the absence of the minister concerned as well as the secretary of the relevant department.

Later, the Panel of Chairmen carried the second item “Zero Hour Notices” of PA’s agenda, once again he panned most of the “Notices Zero Hour” owing to the non-availability of the ministers concerned. There were 14 “Notices Zero Hour” out of total (14) the requests to panned were made in two Notices Zero Hour, one was responded by the law minister Basharat Raja and 11 “Notices Zero Hour” were panned owing to the non-availability of the ministers concerned.

On a point of order, PML-N’s MPA Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan came down hard on the PTI’s ministers, adding the opposition observed that most of the business was panned owing to the absence of ministers and relevant secretaries which is regrettable.

“We are here to address the issues of the common man and what they will respond to the queries of public when their business will be panned owing to the absence of the ministers,” asked former PA Speaker Rana Iqbal.

At which PML-N’s Samiullah Khan also questioned the conduct of PTI’s ministers and secretaries. He said the absence of the ministers projected that the ministers have come to know what sort of response they will face from the public during the next election. The absence of the ministers means they admitted their defeat within three years and are not satisfied with the PTI’s policies. Responding to the PML-N’s objections, Punjab Minister Basharat Raja admitted the lack of interest of the ministers and department’s secretaries. “The Opposition’s reaction is justified. The ministers should come to the House to respond to the queries,” the law minister added. He also said he will inform Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar about such conduct.

He also sought a ruling from the Panel of Chairmen upon the presence of the ministers and department’s secretaries in the Punjab Assembly. He requested the Chair to take a strict stance over the issue.

Finally, the Panel of Chairmen Mian Shafi notified that the ministers, as well as the concerned secretaries, should be available in PA.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2021.

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