LAHORE                -             Expressing dissatisfaction at the government reply in Punjab Assembly on Monday, Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi directed constituting a committee to probe dengue related casualties in the province.

PPP’s Makhdoom Usman became the youngest legislator to preside over the PA session when he took charge as member of panel of chairman for a brief period in the dying moment of the sitting.

The session started one hour and 10 minutes behind the schedule with Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi in the chair.

During question hour on Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid said that so far 26 people have lost life to dengue during the ongoing season.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the reply, the chair feared far more deaths due to unsatisfactory arrangements to cope with the dengue challenges. He praised the previous regime for making exemplary arrangements and suggested the minister that good steps of predecessors should be acknowledged. Instead of continuing the good work, the chair said, the government changed the entire team that caused the dengue menace to resurface with full force. He said that even insecticide spray was not carried out in rural areas prior to the start of dengue season. Dengue surfaced in the entire province but the government only removed Saleha Saeed from the post of Deputy Commission Lahore, he said, adding, this lady was doing good job. He said that the government was admitting 26 deaths but in reality the casualties were much higher. He advised Law Minister Raja Basharat to constitute a committee for bringing the real picture before the House.

After assuming the chair, Makhdoom Usman said that the government has claimed allocating Rs279 billion for health sector including Rs40 billion for building nine new hospitals. He said that construction has not been started even on Sheikh Zayed Hospital phase 2.

During government business, the law minister introduced the University of North Punjab, Chakwal Bill 2019 which was referred to the standing committee with the direction to submit report within two months. He also presented audit report s on the Accounts of District Health Authorities of 19 Districts of Punjab for the year 2017-18, District Education Authorities of 19 Districts of Punjab for the year 2017-18 and special audit report on Construction of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project (Volume-I) Housing and Urban Development & Public Health Engineering and Transport Department for the year 2016-17.

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