LAHORE - The problem of non-availability of gas to the industry in Punjab will be taken care of within next two or three days, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told the Punjab Assembly on Friday, saying the federal government has taken a note of the matter.

The House started its proceedings an hour and a half beyond the scheduled time with Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani in the chair.

The House carried the amended bill on minimum wages of employees. The bill envisages minimum Rs9000 per month wages for an unskilled worker.

Replying to an adjournment motion of Opposition Leader Mahmoodur Rashid, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the federal government had convened a meeting of all the stakeholders on December 14 (today), and hopefully a solution would be found out of the problems emanated after closure of gas supply to the Punjab industry.

The minister admitted that the problems for the industry and traders in Punjab were increasing after suspension of gas supply. He said in the federal government committee, they all would be taken on board and with their accord an acceptable midway would be found out.

The minister said the government would not compromise on the interest of Punjab, and added timely attention had been paid before the problem could become grievous.

Replying to another motion of JI member Dr Waseem Akhtar, the minister said sugarcane price for sugar mills would be fixed in next few days and millers would be not be allowed to start crushing without paying to sugarcane cultivators. He said a committee represented by cultivators and government officials was working out sugarcane price, keeping in view production cost and other factors.

Sanaullah informed the House that Rs180 per mound had been fixed in Sindh. He said millers were bound to pay to growers within 15 days if they were facing problem on account of non-fixation of sugarcane price.

The House also offered fateha for JI Bangladeshi leader Abdul Qadir Mulla who was executed after being held guilt of war crimes in 1971 by the Bangladeshi Supreme Court.

During the question-hour, Minister for Excise and Taxation Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman told a questioner that nine hotels in the province got liquor selling licence and government collected Rs 1.2billion vend fee on its sale during the fiscal year 2012-13. To another question, the minister indicated an increase in property tax collection, saying at present tax was being collected on the basis of survey conducted in 2001, but now new tax rates would be set after a fresh survey.

To a question, Minister for Zakat and Ushr Malik Nadeem Kamran told the House that during the year 2012-13 Rs3.542 billion were distributed from Zakat funds to deserving people in 36 districts.

A member Mian Rafiq raised the issue of his harassment and abduction threats by a sensitive agency and his motion to the privilege committee. The PA session has been prorogued indefinitely.