NA calls upon President to act in ‘non-partisan’ manner

Modern silos to be set up to ensure wheat preservation: NA told

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Islamabad, (VOM): The National Assembly on Wednesday called upon the President to act in a non-partisan manner and perform his functions strictly in accordance with Article 48 of the Constitution.

The House passed the resolution with a majority vote which was moved by Member National Assembly Mohsin Dawar.

The Resolution said : “This House resolves under the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, obedience to the Constitution and the Law, is the invaluable obligation of every citizen wherever he may be, and of every other person for time being within Pakistan.”

According to the oath of the office of President, it said “the President will not allow his personal interests to influence his official conduct or his official decisions. He is also bound to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

The Resolution said : “This House takes strong exception to the Constitutional stance taken by the President and refusal to adhere to implement the Constitution in letter and spirit, and also to follow the norms of Parliamentary democracy.”

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), led by MNAs Ghous Bux Mahar and Dr Fehmida Mirza, opposed the Resolution.

A meeting of the House Business Advisory Committee of the National Assembly was held under the chairmanship of Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf in Parliament House.

The calendar of the sessions of the Assembly for the ongoing parliamentary year and business of the House for the current session of the National Assembly came under discussion.

The Committee decided to continue the current session till May 20. It was further decided that the apart from taking up Question Hour, calling attention notices, legislation ready to be taken up by the house, issues of public importance would be discussed.

Fateha for the soul of the late MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan, MNA/a former member of the Business Advisory Committee was also offered.

The Committee Members felicitated Raja Pervez Ashraf on assuming the post of Speaker National Assembly. Adding to this, Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar on Wednesday apprised the National Assembly that modern silos would be set up to ensure better preservation of wheat.

Replying to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the minister said funds were being acquired from World Bank (WB) for setting up modern silos.

He said unfortunately, the country has been facing shortage of wheat for the last two years due to various reasons including timely un-availability of fertilizers, water shortage etc. The government has decided to import 3 million tons of wheat to meet the domestic requirement, he said.

The minister expressed the hope that the wheat procurement target set for the current season would be achieved by June.

Naveed Qamar said it has also been decided to take stern action against hoarding and smuggling of wheat. Likewise, Minister for Privatization Abid Hussan Bhayo on Wednesday informed the National Assembly that privatization transactions worth Rs 4.293 billion have been conducted during August 2018 to April 2022.

Replying to a question during Question Hour, the minister said expenditures of Rs 78.81 million were incurred for the said privatization.

He said 10 properties, Services International Hotel, Lahore and Heavy Electrical Complex.

The said privatizations were conducted through competitive bidding process, as per the provisions of the Privatization Commission Ordinance, 2000, he said.

The minister said the benchmark (reference) prices of all the said privatizations were assessed through a laid down process.

The reference prices of the said properties were conducted by the respective Financial Advisors on the basis of international and domestic standards of conducting valuation, he said. Furthermore, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi on Thursday informed the National Assembly that unfortunately 30 per cent work on New Balakot City has been completed so far.

In response to a question during Question Hour, the minister said the federal government had released Rs 1.5 billion for land acquisition to the provincial Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government in 2007. PC-1 of the New Balakot City Development Project was approved by the ECNEC amounting to Rs 12,000 million, he said.

The minister said a total of Rs 2,969 million has been released and spent on the project so far. However the responsibility rests with the provincial government to complete the remaining 70 percent work, he said. He said work on the project was delayed due to the non-availability of encumbrance-free land and funds besides resistance from locals.

He said Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) has been mandated by the government to work in 9 districts of Earthquake-2005 affected areas which include Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Shangla and Kohistan in KP and Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Poonch and Neelum in AJZ while Chitral was out of the ambit of ERRA.

To another separate question, the minister said no development funds were released by the former government to the members of the National Assembly.

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