LAHORE With substantial support of minority members, the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday again discussed earning from the sale of liquor, and demanded of the government to take tangible steps for slamming ban on production, sale and consumption of liquor, and declaring the income procured from it as Haraam (prohibited according to Islam). This issue was raised when vocally active PPPs Syed Hassan Murtaza during the Question-Hour on Excise and Taxation Department pinpointed status of 'income from liquor sale, as a supplementary question. Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan told the members that the subject did not fall under the purview of the Punjab government, and the Centre was responsible for this. Seeing MPAs continuing with the debate, he devised a solution, and directed Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to seek opinion, proposals and suggestions of the Muslims and non-Muslims on the subject. Minister Excise and Taxation Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman added that liquor was being provided to non-Muslims under the Hadood Ordinance 1979, which could not be amended by any provincial assembly. Despite Ministers assertions, Fauzia Behram, Saeed Akbar Niwani and Khawaja Muhammad Islam demanded ban on production, sale and use of liquor. When Islam has prohibited this, it must not be allowed at any cost, they averred. This was supported by Minister Minorities Kamran Michael and minority members including Engineer Shahzad and Aamir Joel Sahotra, who mentioned that like Islam, Christianity did not allow consumption of liquor. Extension of legality is impossible in other holy scriptures if the Allah almighty had banned it in the Quran, they maintained. Shahzad further added that Islam had categorically prohibited the consumption of liquor. That will use this (liquor) will not be allowed to enter heaven, he quoted, while requesting the Deputy Speaker for allowing discussion in the House. However, his claim of Speakers ruling on this subject, could not be confirmed immediately. Then Rana Mashhood instructed Rana Sana to discuss the issue, and inform the House. Even if a 'Fatwa is required for this, it should be got decreed, he asked. Earlier, Hassan Murtaza has quizzed the Minister about number of licences issued since 2005 for selling liquor. Mujtaba told the House as per rules, only four and five star hotels were allowed to have licences for selling liquor to non-Muslims, and nine points were 'doing business. Since January 01, 2009 till July 31 of the same year, 282,596 Gallons (Pakistan-made liquor for export) and 1,467,875 Litres (Beer) has been provided to these outlets, he mentioned, adding that Ambassador Hotel Lahore remained on the top for paying Rs 199,313,979 (Rs 199 Million) as tax. Second to it is the Holiday Inn Lahore, which paid Rs 150,471,698 (Rs 150 Million) under the head of tax to the government for selling liquor. During 2008-09, the total 'income was Rs 720720090 (Rs 720m). Interestingly, Tuesday was the first day of the current session which started on March 11 when the Question-Hour was utilised as per routine. Upon completion of the agenda, the House was adjourned till Friday morning 9am.