PESHAWAR: Lawmakers and employees of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly are required to produce the reports of their Covid-19 tests before participating in the budget session, which is scheduled to be held today (Friday) at 3pm.
Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan will chair the budget session in the absence of Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, who recently tested positive for coronavirus.
Speaker Ghani has isolated himself after testing positive.
Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan told Dawn that the assembly secretariat had received Covid-19 test results of 48 MPAs by Friday afternoon showing eight of them were the virus patients.
He said 20 employees of the assembly secretariat had also been tested positive for coronavirus.
Only PTV will cover budget session
“All MPAs will produce their test results before the start of the budget session,” he said, adding that the entry of lawmakers and employees would be denied if they failed to show their test results.
Mr Jan said media had been barred from covering the session.
He said parliamentary leaders of all political parties during their meeting with the speaker had decided that all MPAs and employees of the secretariat would show their tests otherwise their entry would be banned.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Mian Jamshiduddin Kakakhel had died of the virus, while over one dozen lawmakers have recovered from it.
Meanwhile, the assembly secretariat has issued standard operating procedures for MPAs, staff of the assembly and officials of all departments for participation in the budget session.
According to SOPs, no individual and visitor will be allowed to accompany ministers, advisors, special assistants, parliamentary secretaries and MPAs except drivers.
Only one officer, not below the grade of BPS-19, from departments or attached departments will be required to ensure presence in the designated galleries.
All galleries will be used as part of the assembly chamber keeping in view limited space in the house and ensure social distancing.
Due to a ban on print and electronic media, the PTV will telecast the budget proceedings.
The secretariat staff will not provide entertainment and refreshment to participants all through the budget session.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2020