KP govt embarrassed in PA as depts fail to respond to queries

Updated 04 Aug 2020

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KP Assembly chair warns if depts don’t mend ways, he’ll call chief secy to assembly. — APP/File
KP Assembly chair warns if depts don’t mend ways, he’ll call chief secy to assembly. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government suffered great embarrassment in the provincial assembly on Monday over long delay by its departments in responding to the questions of lawmakers on different issues.

Deputy Speaker Mamud Jan, who chaired the session, warned that if the departments didn’t mend their ways, he would call the chief secretary to the assembly.

He directed the chief secretary and government departments to ensure that written replies to the lawmakers’ queries are submitted two days ahead of the session.Waqar Ahmad Khan of the opposition Awami National Party had sought details of the performance of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority through a question.

The assembly secretariat had placed that question on the assembly’s agenda for Monday. However, the finance department didn’t produce the written reply to it.

Chair warns if depts don’t mend ways, he’ll call chief secy to assembly

The mover drew the chair’s attention towards the matter and said the government departments didn’t take their questions seriously.

He said he wanted to know about the KPRA’s accomplishments as finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra declared its performance the best but his department didn’t provide the house with the sought-after information.

Member of the opposition Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal Humaira Khatoon complained about late reply to her written question and said she received the response a few minutes before she was to formally put it to discussion in the house.

The chair issued directions to the chief minister and social welfare minister to ensure the submission of that reply to the assembly two days before the session.

Social welfare minister Hisham Inamullah asked the mover and chair that he also received the reply just now.

“I have issued a notice of displeasure to the department over irresponsible attitude,” he said.

Labour minister Shaukat Yousafzai informed the house that the government couldn’t ban child labour at automobile workshops as all children working there were breadwinners for their families.

“The government can ban child labour with a single order but it will hit families of all child labourers,” he said in response to a question of MPA Humaira Khatoon.

The minister said for the first time, the labour department had begun collecting data of labourers, including children, in the province.

Through a calling attention notice, MPA Rehana Ismail said 90 per cent of the irrigation water in Peshawar was polluted rendering vegetables and fruits produced in those areas injurious to health.

She demanded of the government to take corrective measures.

Responding to the calling attention notice, minister Hisham Inamullah said the chief minister and agriculture minister were very concerned about the issue.

He said the agriculture department had formulated a policy to ban the throwing of drain water into irrigation channels to prevent the contamination of irrigation water.

The minister said the policy would be implemented with the support of the agriculture, local government and health departments and relevant district administrations.

Special assistant to the chief minister on local government department Kamran Bangash tabled the KP Urban Areas Development Authorities Ordinance, 2020, and social welfare minister Hisham Inamullah the KP Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The chair adjourned the session until today (Tuesday).

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020