- Punjab govt presents Local Government Bill, University Of Agriculture Multan Bill, Punjab Animals Slaughter Control Bill, Punjab Boilers and Pressure Vessels Bill in assembly
- Govt to appoint 27,000 teachers, construct additional 15,000 classrooms in schools: education minister
Under the Supreme Court’s directions to complete legal preparations with respect to local bodies’ elections by August 15, the Punjab government has finally decided to take practical steps for reinstating Local Government System in the province.
The Punjab Local Government Bill 2013 was laid in the Punjab Assembly (PA) on Friday while the government has also introduced a new law to regulate private educational institutes.
The PA’s Friday’s session started an hour late from its scheduled time under the chair of PA Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani. Soon after the recitation of the Quran and the Naat, the House adopted a resolution of condolence on the death of the assembly’s secretary Dr Aftab Joiya.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah presented the Punjab Local Government Bill 2013 in the House which was referred to a Special Committee, comprising 12 members from different political parties, for review and further process.
According to this bill, the new local government system is almost contrary to the Musharraf-era local government ordinance, which gave unlimited financial and administrative powers to town and district nazims. They believe the new system will revive the office of the deputy commissioner (except for the magisterial powers) who will maintain a complete oversight on the elected mayor (for cities) and chairman (for rural areas). The bifurcation of urban and rural areas within the same district will further undermine these elected offices in the face of the DC backed by the provincial government.
Sanaullah also presented other three bills including Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University Of Agriculture Multan Bill 2013, The Punjab Animals Slaughter Control (Amendment) Bill 2013, The Punjab Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Bill 2013.
During the Question Hour about Schools Education Department, the education minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan answered related queries of the members.
Answering different questions related to private educational institutes especially about their exuberant fee and syllabus structure, the minister told the House that his government was working on the issue and soon, they would introduce a new comprehensive policy and the law in this regard.
Khan informed that during the last tenure of his party, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government, they had constituted a special committee to address this matter which was still in works. He hoped that they would soon introduce this law in the House.
The minister said that after the new legislations about the educational system, same pattern of syllabus would be implemented in the province. He said the committee was working on the policy about the issue of huge fees and different syllabi in the private schools.
Through the new law, the syllabi of all private schools would be homogenized while classification of these schools would also be included in it, the minister said. He also informed the House that in the new law, they were fixing some punishments and sentences for the private educational institutes who would not follow the government rules.
On a query, the minister also accepted that some of the private educational institutes were more powerful and officials of the Education Department were barred from entering their premises.
To a query, he announced that his government would appoint more 27,000 teachers in the schools to overcome the required strength in the schools. On this occasion, he also announced that his government was going to impose Enrolment Emergency from August 14 this year. He also informed that they would construct more 15,000 class rooms in the schools.
Some opposition members highlighted the issue of mistakes and printing errors in the books printed by the Punjab Text Book Board. The education minister ensured the house that they would take serious action against the responsible.
Later, the House with majority adopted a motion moved by the provincial minister to give permission to use the Assembly Chamber as the polling station during the upcoming scheduled presidential elections. The house was later adjourned till Monday 10am.