LAHORE – The PML-N has rejected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s claim that Punjab is an obstacle in establishment of Drug Regulatory Authority.

According to a private TV channel, senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said “It’s not true that Punjab government is an obstacle to setting up the Authority. The reason behind delay in this Authority is the federal government’s unconstitutional control on Lahore’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital.’

Staff Reporter adds: A spokesman of Punjab government has described the statement of Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding setting up of Drug Regulatory Authority as contrary to facts.

The spokesman said that the factual position is that after passage of 18th amendment the federal government vides its notification No. 4-9/2011- Min dated 29th June 2011, assigned the functions pertaining to administration of Drug Act 1976 to the proposed Drug Regulatory Agency (DRA). At the time of issuance of this notification, the DRA did not exist. The DRA could only be established after consensus of all provincial governments, he said, adding that consensus development among the provinces was the role of federal government not of Punjab government.

The spokesman further said that in order to avoid any breach in operations, the Provincial government vide letter No.SO(DC)6-48/2008 dated 4th July and 5th August 2011 asked the federal government to lawfully continue to perform its function under the existing Drug Act 1976 till the said law is adopted by Provincial Assembly of Punjab in terms of article 270-AA(6) of the Constitution. The Punjab government has drafted a bill to adapt this act in case no consensus is reached in establishing DRA.

The spokesman further said that it was evident from the above stated facts that Punjab government was not posing any hindrance in the establishment of the DRA rather it was facilitating by giving its view point as provided under the Constitution and at the same time preparing itself to take up this function if no consensus is reached.