Opposition walks out of KP assembly over chair’s refusal to give it floor

Published August 4, 2021
The treasury managed the proceedings of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Tuesday despite a walkout and pointation of a lack of quorum on at least four occasions by the opposition. — Photo courtesy: KP Assembly website
The treasury managed the proceedings of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Tuesday despite a walkout and pointation of a lack of quorum on at least four occasions by the opposition. — Photo courtesy: KP Assembly website

PESHAWAR: The treasury managed the proceedings of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Tuesday despite a walkout and pointation of a lack of quorum on at least four occasions by the opposition.

Lawmakers of the joint opposition staged a walkout when Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, who was presiding over the sitting, did not allow Munawar Khan of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) to speak on a supplementary question.

The chair said the assembly’s rules of business had no provision for allowing a member to speak on a supplementary question after the relevant minister gave reply, so he won’t allow violation of the rules.

“You [Munawar] can’t dictate,” he said.

Lawmakers of the MMA and other opposition parties staged a walkout when the chair chided their colleague.

Despite a walkout, the opposition continued its tactics to disrupt the house’s business.

Tries to disrupt session by repeatedly sending a member to PA hall to point out lack of quorum

A member from the opposition side would make a brief entry to the assembly hall to point out a lack of quorum and leave.

The opposition pointed out a lack of quorum four times forcing the chair to suspend the proceedings and order headcount by the staff members. Every time, the required number of MPAs of the treasury were present in the house.

Several questions lapsed due to the opposition’s walkout.

The assembly passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Registration of Godowns Bill, 2021.

Under the proposed law, a person will obtain licence from the relevant authority for operating and establishing a godown. The licence will be valid for one year and will be renewable every year on the payment of fee.

The bill says the licensee will make proper arrangements for the cleanliness of the godown premises, maintain the temperature and environment required for storage of goods, ensure compulsory vaccination of workers and provision of health certificates to them, and fulfil all legal formalities.

The chair did not allow the relevant ministers to introduce three bills, including the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Transplantation Regulatory (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Employees Social Security Bill, 2021, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sentencing Bill, 2021, as the departments did not attach the copies of the original acts.

Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, on the demand of the opposition, had made the attachment of the copies of original acts with the bills mandatory before its introduction in the house.

Mr Jan asked the government to follow the speaker’s ruling.

During question hour, special assistant to the chief minister on information Kamran Khan Bangash informed the house that the FIR digitisation had been completed in Malakand and Mardan divisions and the facility was being extended to Peshawar and other divisions of the province.

He said the digitisation of FIR would be launched in Peshawar very soon.

The special assistant said the science and information technology department in collaboration with the relevant departments had completed digitisation of all prisons in the province, while the judicial system would also be digitised.

Health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said whoever had national identity card, he or she was eligible for free treatment in government and private hospitals.

Mr Jhagra denied that private health facilities were the beneficiaries of the programme.

He said the merged tribal districts were covered under the programme.

The minister, however, said around 40,000 families from across the province were not entitled to the health insurance programme ashusbandsof their female members did not belonged to KP. He added that the health department was working to resolve the issue.

The chair adjourned the sitting until 10am on Friday.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021

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