LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed three bills for the second time, rejecting the objections raised by the Punjab governor who had sent them back for their reconsideration.
While the Opposition insisted that changes proposed by the governor should be included in the bills, the Treasury overruled the objections and adopted the bills as originally passed by the Assembly a few months ago.
Pleading the case of Punjab governor regarding “The Evacuee Property And Displaced Persons Laws (Repeal) (Amendment) Bill 2011”, PPP’s Ehsanul Haq Naulatia said that under the 18th Amendment, all subjects falling within the purview of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) had not been transferred to the provinces. He told the chair that the Punjab government should wait for the decision to be made by the implementation commission which had been mandated to settle such issues between the Centre and the federating units.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, on the other hand, maintained that all subjects of ETPB had been transferred to the provinces under the said constitutional amendment. “The PPP wants to retain some of the subjects to make money through corruption,” he alleged. Naulatia wanted to present more arguments to substantiate his point, but Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood did not allow him to speak.
This infuriated the legislator from Kot Addu and he tore copies of the Assembly agenda and left the House. The deputy speaker sent provincial minister Ehasanuddin Qureshi to bring the estranged member back. He retuned to the House but threw a volley of criticism on the law minister. “An accused law minister is running the House illegally,” said Naulatia who seemed to be in rage.
“He is a disgrace to the august House,” he said and added that a privilege motion against the minister was pending for decision for last over one year but the privilege committee was not taking up the case. Rana Sana responded and said that if he (Rana) was an “accused law minister”, Naulatia was having a “convicted prime minister” with him.
As the Opposition had entrusted the responsibility of defending its governor in the Assembly to Naulatia, he also presented governor’s point of view on “The Punjab Public Defender Service Act 2007 (Repeal) Bill 2011”. Naulatia said, “It is essential for the government to find some solution to the fake litigation the people have to face for no fault of their own,” he observed. The law minister, however, insisted that the bill was comprehensive and there was no need to bring any amendment to it.
He also overruled Opposition’s objections to the “Settlement Commissioners (Validation Of Orders) (Repeal) Bill 2011”. The Assembly also passed two other bills- “The Punjab Animals Slaughter Control (Amendment) Bill 2012” and “The Parks And Horticulture Authority Bill 2011”. The Assembly amended section 2 (a) of the Punjab Animal Slaughter Control Act 1963 to include Ostrich in the category of animals for commercial farming of this animal. In the statement of objectives and reasons, it has been stated that Ostrich is the largest, flightless, hardy and desert bird which can tolerate a wide range of temperature.
“Commercial Ostrich farming is amongst the world’s fastest growing meat business serving global market for meat, leather, egg, feathers and related products. It is therefore an opportune time for Pakistan to capture its share in the international market by rearing Ostrich commercially and launching its products both locally and in the international market,” it further reads.
The Assembly passed the Parks and Horticulture Authority Bill for the regulation, development and maintenance of the billoards, sky signs and outdoor advertisements. Rana Sanaullah introduced 12 other bills in the Assembly and the speaker referred them to the relevant Standing Committees of the House for their recommendations.