ISLAMABAD - The lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches in National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday were found indulged in a blame game while discussing increase in the price of commodities and later the chair adjourned the house due to lack of quorum.

The debate on increase in the rates of commodities was scheduled to wind up today (Wednesday) but the thin presence of lawmakers was pointed out during the proceeding of the house, which led to adjourn the session.

PPP’s Iyaz Soomro, on a point of order, drew the attention towards lack of quorum, saying that this debate would be fruitless sans the presence of treasury benches and sufficient number of lawmakers in the House.

Earlier, speaking on motion related to inflation in the country, Javed Hashmi from PTI said the masses could not find a ruler in the country to resolve their issues in any era. “System will not change with speeches. Whoever came into power had given priority to his business,” said Hashmi, in his fiery speech, adding that the government was not delivering in good manner to bring change in the lives of poor.

He said that Nawaz Sharif is one of the biggest industrialist prime minister in the world. He also lauded Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary for making Supreme Court (SC) as a respectful institution.

Another PTI’s legislator, Arif Alvi said PTI will stage sit-in in Lahore against the fast increasing inflation in the country. “Over 60 per cent people are living under poverty line in the country so there is need to introduce poverty alleviation package,” he said adding that the government should also bring elite class into tax net.

PPP legislator from Sindh Iyaz Soomro said that there should be no difference between Lahore and Larkana for distribution of resources in the country. “Practical steps need to be taken to control price hike in the country,” he maintained. He further said that there was need of economic programme.

MQM’s legislator Sajid Ahmed said that the government should properly work on tax recovery in the country. “Inflation should be controlled in the country as around 50 per cent people living under poverty line are suffering. Earlier, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali during question-hour informed the House that KESC’s agreement would be reviewed thoroughly after getting permission from Sindh High Court. He added that PML-N government would make all-out efforts to recover outstanding electricity as Rs 1 billion are receivable from KESC while Rs 50 billion are outstanding against Sindh government. He added that government has also issued directives for recovery.

To another question, Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi said that the government is making efforts to increase production capacity of the PSM from 12 per cent to 80 per cent.  He said a purification plant is being installed in the Steel Mills to utilize the Iron-ore discovered from Balochistan.

To another question, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Khan said that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) would launch biometric system for issuance of verified mobile SIMs in next year, however the authority had verified ten million SIMs last year, and the National Assembly was informed. 

She said the PTA is working to launch biometric system in 2014, adding that last year a campaign was started to verify the SIMs and under this process ten million SIMs have been verified. To another question, Minister of State for National Health Services‚ Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar informed the House that there is proposal under consideration of the government to rationalize the prices of drugs.

About the HIV/AIDs cases in the country ‚ the Minister said that the number of AIDs patients in the country stands at one hundred thousand people, however the number of patients registered under the AIDs programme are only 7819.

Giving the details of HIV/AIDS registered cases during last five years; she said 2,917 AIDS patients had been registered in 2009, 4,087 in 2010, 5,256 in 2011, 6,819 in 2012 and 7,819 aids patients have been registered in 2013.  She said 1,320 patients had been treated in 2009, 590 in 2010, 581 in 2011, 709 in 2012 and 500 in 2013. Earlier, the report on the 2nd biannual monitoring on the implementation of NFC award Jan-June 2012 was laid before the house.