LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Monday passed three bills with majority besides extending period of five Ordinances, amid rumpus and walkout from the opposition.

PML-N legislators gave a rousing welcome to Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and former health minister Khawaja Salman Rafiq on their entry in the House after five months, after issuance of their production orders by Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi.

The session started one hour and 35 minutes behind the schedule with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

Opposition welcomed Hamza Shehbaz and Kh Salman Rafiq by thumping desks and raising slogans like Sher Aya, Sher Aya.

During the Question Hour on Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department, the minister admitted death of 32 expensive animals in zoos during the last two years but without any purchase as their substitutes. These 32 animals included Arabian Camels, African Lion, Bengal Tiger, Cheeta, Urial, Blackbuck and Chinkara. During 2017 and 2018, the House told, Giraffe, Lama, Tigers and Lions were brought to different zoos.

During the government business, PML-N’s Samiullah Niazi accused the government of turning the Governor House to an ordinance factory like the practice in Islamabad. He said that expiry of four to five ordinances has led to nullifying all the steps taken by relevant departments. He said that the treasury passed the local government bill in haste. He said that the bill was contradictory to the constitution and the rules of Election Commission Pakistan. He said that it was the case with an experienced law minister that clearly indicated situation with other departments. He said that the treasury was not giving due importance to the House.

Law Minister Raja Basharat defended issuance of ordinances, saying the government was doing any unlawful act. He said that the government has approached ECP and hopefully the technical mistakes in local government act would be rectified soon.

As the chair allowed starting proceedings, the opposition staged a walkout from the House.

In the absence of opposition, the House passed three bills–the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2019, the Punjab Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Bill 2019 and the Punjab Seized and Freezed Institutions (Madaaris and Schools) Bill 2019–with majority. The House also extended period of five ordinances including the he Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Ordinance 2019 for 90 days.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Tuesday (today) at 3pm.