LAHORE  - A Treasury member has lamented the surge in land grabbing during the last three years.

Treasury Legislator Amjad Ali Javed lashed out at Parliamentary Secretary Chaudhary Zahid Akram for giving unsatisfactory answer during question hour in Punjab Assembly Friday. Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani chaired the sitting.

“Land grabbing has been on the rise for the last three years,” the lawmaker said and urged his colleagues to show up in the session with better preparations for giving satisfactory replies on departmental performance. The legislators should not depend on the briefing of babus who hoodwinked lawmakers to hide their inefficiency, he added.

Other members, inducing Iftikhar Ahmed Chachar, also took swipe at the secretary for not giving satisfactory answers to their questions on revenue and colonies department. Mian Naseer asked Zahid to inform the House about the delay in computerisation of revenue record but the secretary had no reply.

Naseer told the House that the delay cost Rs3.5 billion to the province and the bureaucracy was responsible for the loss.

He added that computerisation of the revenue record had to be completed in 2009 but the bureaucrats taking care of the project first given a next date for 2012 to complete the project and then deferred the same until June 2014.

The chair forwarded some questions to the committees concerned for presenting proper and true answers in the next sitting.

JI’s Dr Waseem Akhtar proposed the government should not ‘grab’ land from the farmers who had made the barren lands fertile under ‘Grow More Scheme-1960’.

In response to this the parliamentary secretary claimed the acquired land would be auctioned through a private board, while the priority would be given to the bidders who had turned these lands cultivatable. The House also discussed the annual report of Parks and Horticulture Authority 2012-13.