KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Thursday demanded registration of 13 million female voters across the country, including 2.3 million from Sindh, to enable them to exercise their right to vote in the coming general election.

This demand was made by a resolution tabled by Ghazala Sial of the Pakistan Peoples Party jointly signed by Naheed Begum, Naila Munir of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and others. After a brief deliberation, when put to vote, the resolution was carried with consensus.

The house, called to order at 11.40am, carried three bills with consensus. Two of them were amendment bills tabled by Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro through supplementary agenda for effecting minor amendments while The Sindh Institute of Animal Health at Karachi Bill, 2017 was also introduced.

After completion of the business, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani read out the order of Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair at 2.50pm to prorogue the session.

The Sindh Institute of Animal Health at Karachi Bill, 2017 introduced

He announced that on Dec 13 Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) would be commemorated for the first time in the Sindh Assembly building in which Pir of Qambar Sharif Hussain Shah would specially participate.

Before the chair called it a day on the 15th running day of the fourth session of the parliamentary year, the other business considered by the house included Question Hour on the prisons department and four out of six calling-attention notices.

The privilege motion of Rana Ansar of the MQM was admitted and referred to the Standing Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Privileges. In the motion the legislator had drawn the attention of the house towards the finance department secretary for releasing funds allocated in her name under the Community Development Programme without her knowledge. Such an attitude of a public servant towards a public representative had not only breached her privilege but of the whole house, she said, and added that as such the motion be referred to the committee concerned.

‘Shortage’ of medicines at CHK

The adjournment motion of Khurram Sher Zaman of the PTI pertained to a shortage of medicines at the Civil Hospital, Karachi. He said the shortage was causing hardship for poor patients and they were compelled to purchase medicines from the market.

Senior Minister Khuhro opposed the motion saying that there was no shortage of medicines in the hospital. “If he has any proof of it, he should present it in the house as an adjournment motion cannot be based on newspaper clippings,” he said. The PTI lawmaker said he would present the proof of it if allowed to speak. The chair said the proofs should be submitted at the time of filing the motion as such it was not maintainable, and ruled it out of order.

Livestock bill passed

Bill No. 29 of 2017 — The Sindh Livestock Registration and Trade Authority Bill — which was introduced on Wednesday, was taken up for consideration and unanimously passed after the third reading.

The bill is aimed at introducing the system to provide for registration, tagging and identification, improving existing livestock sector practices in line with international standards for trade and their export. Butchers would be registered and provided training and laws to import livestock would be made.

The minister also introduced the Sindh Institute of Animal Health at Karachi Bill 2017 while the bill to amend The Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 2013 and Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences, which were tabled with supplementary agenda, were carried with consensus.

The resolution for registration of female voters was tabled by Ghazala Sial of the PPP with joint signatures of Heer Soho, Naela Munir, Naheed Begum and Rana Ansar of the MQM. The resolution recommended that 13 million female voters of Pakistan, not included in the voters list, be issued CNICs.

The resolution was endorsed by Senior Minister Khuhro and MQM parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmad and was carried with consensus.

Wheat prices

On a point of order, the Sindh government demanded that the federal government fix government rates of wheat and allow wheat export. This demand was made by Mr Khuhro while responding to a point of order.

He said if wheat rates were not fixed soon, wheat procurement would not be possible in the season as the wheat procurement stock of the last crop was lying outside godowns for want of capacity. He said sugar cane growers were already facing hardships for non-fixing of sugar cane prices and if wheat rates were not fixed soon, the farmers would be facing hardships further.

Earlier, Dr Seema Zia of the PTI by her calling-attention notice said that 1,300 constables of Benazirabad district had been posted on security duties elsewhere. Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro said that 1,259 constables of Benazirabad district were deployed on security of Chinese, schools, offices, religious places, banks and prisons.

Regarding another notice of Dr Seema Zia saying why loose electric cables lay hanging from poles in the Clifton area, Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said the cables were being laid underground.

In response to the notice of Dilawar Qureshi of the MQM regarding the inordinate delay in carrying out development work in Gulshan-i-Sarmast Scheme in Hyderabad, the local government minister said development work in the society would be completed soon.

School vacation schedules

Replying to the calling-attention notice of Heer Soho of the MQM about summer and winter vacation schedules, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar said a decision would soon be taken in that regard with consultation of representatives of the private educational institutions. He said the vacation issue was decided by the steering committee.

According to a weather report prepared on the basis of the last many years, a severe cold wave grips Sindh from Jan 10 to 20. Therefore, the government is mulling to change the vacation schedule.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2017