KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Thursday witnessed furore and walkout in protest by thin opposition of PML-F and PML-N against Deputy Speaker’s ruling of banning entry of Nusrat Sehar Abbasi in the House for current session.
Meanwhile, the MQM’s MPAs did not attend the proceedings of the Assembly, which paved way for treasury benches to smoothly pass nine bills into law, including reviving the development authorities of Malir, Lyari, Hyderababad, Sehwan and Larkana by making the provincial minister their chairman.
The House proceedings commenced about one and half hour late than the schedule time of 10am with Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza in the chair.
The PPP and opposition MPAs of PML-F and PML-N paid tribute to the PPP’s local leader Zafar Baloch who was killed in Lyari on Wednesday evening. They termed his killing a loss for democracy and Lyari area. PPP ministers and lawmakers while offering prayer vowed to arrest the killers of the Baloch. Later, the House took up question-hour about the Mines, Mineral and Coal Energy Departments.
Provincial Minister Manzoor Hussian Wassan while replying the question asked by female MPA of PML-F Nusrat Sehar Abbasi leveled allegations against the PML-F. He said at least one million acres of land and mines worth of billions of rupees were leased out on merely one or two rupees per acre when the portfolio of department was held by the minister belonging to PML-F from 2002 to 2008.
The minister informed the House that he has recommended the Anti-Corruption Department to probe into the matter of lands leased on less amount and recover from them. Abbasi reacted in the same tone and objected that the minister is leveling allegations instead of replying the questions listed in the order of the day. But provincial minister repeatedly leveled same allegations of financial irregularities. She alleged that she has proof that how the PPP ministers sold the jobs and made money during its last tenure.
Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza who was presiding over the proceedings instructed Mrs Abbasi to resume the seat but she did not pay attention to the order of the chair and continuously speaking without permission. Deputy Speaker and Mrs Abbasi exchanged arguments for awhile, which ended up in shutting of their mikes by the chair. “I am giving a ruling to keep out Mrs Abbasi for current session,” Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza ordered, which also irked even the treasury benches. PML-F’s Jam Madad Ali Khan and others raised objection and protested over it. Following the ruling of Deputy Speaker, the Opposition MPAs of PML-F and PML-N staged walkout from the House in protest.
Later, Senior Education Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said, “Sometimes members go emotional but we are all here to follow the rules.” He termed the ruling of Deputy Speaker of banning the opposition for current session is tough punishment, urging the chair to review her ruling. But the chair unheard the request of the senior minister and refused to take back her ruling. However, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon through the secretary of the Assembly sent a chit to the chair which was supposed to be a request to reverse her ruling.
Later, the chair took back the ruling, saying she has no personal problem with anyone so the banned member can come to participate in the proceedings.
PPP Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon along with Mir Nadir Magsi, Sharmila Farooqui and Khairun Nisa Mughal went to opposition and bring them back in the House. After question-hour, the privilege motion and adjournment motion submitted by the MQM’s MPAs could not be taken up as they stayed away of the House without any announcement.
In absence of MQM’s MPAs, the House passed nine bills into law in presence of thin opposition of PML-N, PML-F and PTI members, who took part and supported the legislation. The House passed ‘Sindh Mental Health Bill 2013” into law to regulate the matters relating to the treatment and care of mentally disabled persons as well as better management of their properties.
Passing another bill “The Sindh Prevention and Control of Thalassemia Bill 2013” into law to provide compulsory pre-marital blood test for marrying couples to diagnose their thalassemia and to take concrete steps against the disease of thalassemia.
Meanwhile, the law minister moved the motion, seeking permission to table the supplementary order of the day, which the House approved unanimously.
Among the supplementary business, the House passed seven other bills turn-by-turn which include “The Malir, Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill 2013, Lyari Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill 2013, Hyderabad Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill 2013, Larkana Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill 2013 and Sehwan Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill 2013” into law.
The House by reviving the above development authorities, which were repealed during 2002, had authorised them to make housing schemes and allot plots to the poor population on concessional rates. The local government minister was made the chairman of all such development authorities. Passing another bill “Sindh Fund Management Bill 2013,” the government has decided to manage and audit the dividends of investment made by the government in different heads.
The assembly also passed Sindh Building Control Amendment Bill 2013 through which punishment and fines have been increased against the violators of the building laws. Later, the chair adjourned the proceedings to meet again on Friday (today).