LAHORE:07 March: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to make Holy Quran’s education an integral part of curriculum andalso showed deep concern over suspension of gas supplies to the industries. The House was also informed that Punjab was not self-sufficient in the production of vegetables and export-oriented projects had been initiated to make up for the deficit. The session started an hour and ten minutes late with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.
It was a private member day and resolutions on different issues were tabled in the House. Treasury member Asma Mumdoot presented an out of turn resolution which was passed by the PA. The resolution stated that Quran and Hadith education should be incorporated in the curriculum and a comprehensive plan should be evolved and resources be provided. In another resolution presented by Zia Ullah Shah, the House showed deep concern over closure of gas to industries. The resolution stated that gas production was decreasing and closure of gas supplies to industries was not the solution since it increased unemployment. The House urged the government to explore alternate options for gas availability.
The Question Hour was on the agriculture sector and Agriculture Minister Ahmed Ali Aulakh responded to the questions. The House was informed that the province was not producing enough vegetables but new projects had been started. “These new projects would help us to export vegetables worth $2 billion,” Aulakh said adding that the provincial government earned Rs 5.88 billion last year through vegetable exports. He informed the House that the government does not offer subsidy on seeds and pesticides. In a point of order, Pakistan People’s Party member Hasan Murtaza said development funds were being given to a ‘Lota’ (defunct) MPA in his area. “I would not object if funds are given to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPAs but at least don’t promote defunct members,” he added.
Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah while responding to Murtaza’s objection said projects,and not members, were funded. He said in Punjab’s Governor House the prime minister had given Rs 75 million, ten Kalashnikovs and ten jobs to each member, adding that on March 2, Murtaza’s party sacrificed its Senate candidate only to support PML-Q’s member.
Murtaza said PPP voted on the instructions of President Asif Ali Zardari. “If President Zardari asks us to vote for a ‘dog’ then we would do it,” Murtza added. The House was adjourned for Wednesday morning.Pakistan today.