Private varsities buying legal cover thru bribes: PML-N MPAs

Opposition party’s MPAs object to mushroom growth of private universities in Punjab

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPAs on Tuesday raised severe objections over the mushroom growth of private universities in the province, saying that these universities are being established without meeting the criteria.

As the session of Punjab Assembly started on Tuesday, there were five bills on the agenda item to establish five new private universities in the province. At the very outset of the session, PML-N MPA Samiullah Khan raised the objection that these bills are being passed in the House at the behest of someone influential people without even fulfilling the criteria. “We have seen mushroom growth of private universities in Punjab during the last few years and these universities are being established in five marla houses without following the rules,” PML-N MPA Samiullah Khan said.

He went on to say that the bills to establish private universities are brought in the House by getting bribes from the owners and it must be stopped now. “Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun also showed his concerns about these bills. A committee should be formed to probe such private bills,” the lawmaker said. He was of the view that the PML-N MPAs will keep raising their objections and will point out the quorum if it is not stopped here. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat said that these bills sail through a proper procedure and the opposition’s MPA has raised doubts over the intention of MPAs.

“How can they talk about corruption as they themselves are corrupt from head to toe,” Raja Basharat said. The bills regarding the private universities are brought on the Private Member Day through a procedure and no one can snatch this right of the members of this House, Basharat said. Speaking on a point of order, former two-time speaker Rana Iqbal said that it is responsibility of the speaker to look into the quorum if pointed out by any member of the House. The proceeding cannot be taken further if quorum isn’t met, he said.

“You are custodian of the House and it is really unfortunate that our eight members pointed out the quorum yesterday but you didn’t pay any attention,” Rana Iqbal said.

It is worth mentioning here that the incumbent custodian of the House doesn’t pay any heed when the quorum is pointed out by the opposition benches. The journalists sitting in the Press Gallery have also observed that the House lacks the quorum on many occasions but speaker keeps continuing the proceeding, ignoring the objections raised from the opposition benches. The House also passed a resolution to condemn the increase in prices of electricity and petroleum prices by the federal government.