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ISLAMABAD: Despite a lack of quorum in the National Assembly, which saw it adjourned till Monday, two important issues were discussed in the session on Friday — the salaries of the employees of the Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) and the development schemes in Shahdadpur city, Sindh.

MNA Sheikh Salahuddin raised the issue of the TIP salaries in a calling attention notice, arguing that the employees of the organisation — in addition to not being given their due raise — had not received their wages for the last three months.

Syed Ali Raza Abidi said that the minister of finance had released funds for TIP employees, but the ministry of information technology (IT) had not given it to them. Speaking on the occasion, Anusha Rehman, the IT minister, said that there had been a 15-day delay in the transfer of salaries of the TIP employees due to technical reasons. However, she said that she had ordered for the issues to be resolved and the salaries disbursed immediately.

Ms Rehman said that TIP employees had allegedly been involved in several incidents of corruption, and the National Accountability Bureau was busy investigating them. She added that whenever the ministry moved against the employees, they would go to court against the department causing further problems. “We are already involved in dozens of cases filed by TIP employees”.

In a separate calling attention notice, MNA Muhammed Jamaluddin asked the minister of energy to consider the failure of companies — involved in exploratory operations in Shahdadpur — to implement the Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy 2012. Mr Jamaluddin also added that the companies had ignored the local population in their hiring processes.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has held on to the Ministry of Energy since he was sworn in as the prime minister following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif last year.

Mr Jamaluddin said that exploration companies were not engaged in social welfare development schemes, and were also not helping curb unemployment in the area, causing the local population a great deal of stress.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said that he had the complete record of development funds allocated by the firms for development schemes in Shahdadpur, which he would share with the rest of the members. Mr Aftab added that he would take up the employment concerns of the people of Shahdadpur with the concerned authorities.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2018