Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Monday grilled the government and its allied departments for failing to control the business of drugs in educational institutions.
“The drugs and narcotics are being sold openly in school and colleges but the government isn’t taking any action,” Elahi observed, while he chaired the session. There was a dire need to make a comprehensive strategy to get rid of the menace, he said.
He directed the secretary excise, taxation and narcotics control department to take action against the sale of drugs in schools as it was ruining the youth.
“It is a very serious issue; therefore, everyone should play their role in controlling it,” Elahi stressed.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat also endorsed the speaker. “We are working on this issue and a separate directorate is also being established for controlling the drugs and narcotics,” said Basharat.
Earlier, the session of the Punjab Assembly started after a delay of more than three hours from its scheduled time with Elahi in the chair.
Questions related to the excise, taxation and narcotics control department were on the agenda item but the speaker wasn’t satisfied with the answers given by the parliamentary secretary.
Elahi criticised the government for increasing the property tax rate as he said that there was never any concept of imposing taxes in the villages but now taxes were imposed there too. He also sought the complete schedule of property tax from the department. Elahi wasn’t satisfied with the answers and so he once again put the question hour on hold.
It would be pertinent to mention here that the question hour was put on hold for a third consecutive day during the ongoing session of the Punjab Assembly. Last week, the question hour related to the agriculture department was suspended as the secretary agriculture wasn’t there.
In another sitting last week, the question hour related to the industries department was put on hold and Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal wasn’t present in the house.
It is interesting to note that on Monday too, there was a general discussion on the agriculture department on the agenda but it couldn’t be held due to the absence of Minister for Agriculture Hussain Jahania Gardezi.
Criticising the absence of the ministers, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior lawmaker Samiullah Khan said that the ministers were not taking any interest in the business of the house, despite repeated rulings given by the chair regarding their presence. “The ministers always look for lame excuses not to attend the house proceedings. If they have lost interest in the affairs during the third year of the government, how will they spend the next two years with this attitude,” Khan asked.
A resolution was also passed unanimously for making the recitation of the Holy Quran and Naat compulsory during morning prayers in schools. The resolution was moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q’s) Khadija Umar.
The session was later adjourned to meet again on Tuesday morning.