LAHORE - It was Private Members Day at the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday. However, the House was adjourned till Wednesday afternoon leaving most of the private business unfinished, thanks to absence of the ministers concerned.

Ten resolutions of public interest and a private bill were on the day’s agenda but only one resolution sailed through the House. A private bill moved by Ms Sadia Sohail Rana of the PTI was referred to the House committee for report within two months. She wanted some amendments in Punjab Motor Vehicles Act.

Law Minister Mohammad Basharat Raja opposed three resolutions on varying grounds while six were kept pending due to absence of the concerned ministers. These resolutions related to recent hike in prices of fertilizers, loot and plunder of private educational institutions, permission to allow restriction-free import of milk for infants, implementation court orders regarding restoration of construction work in Tehsil Murree and recognition of free education and sanitation as basic human right under the Constitution.

Law Minister convinced one of the movers to withdraw a resolution seeking provision of extra facilities to the senior citizens pleading that government was already doing enough for them.

Interestingly, the House unanimously adopted a resolution despite opposition by the law minister. It happened due to convergence of interests of the lawmakers belonging to the government and the opposition. The resolution stressed upon the government to ensure payment of arrears to the sugarcane growers before start of the next crushing season. 

Following opposition by the law minister two resolutions moved by Hina Pervaiz Butt of the PML-N were rejected by majority vote. Though these resolutions, she wanted the government to ensure free ambulance service for families of the patients who die in hospitals; and strict government controls over supply of unhygienic meant in the markets.

Law Minister argued that free ambulance service was already available in government hospitals where social welfare societies had their offices. He also said that government could not make it binding on the private hospitals to make such an arrangement. The Minister also affirmed that there was no need for setting up of more slaughter houses in the province as the existing arrangement was sufficient to cater to the needs of citizens.  

Earlier, during the question hour, the government faced criticism from the Opposition for what it called insufficient allocations made for the development work in the annual development programme.