LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told the Punjab Assembly session on Thursday that farmers were being paid Rs180 per 40-kg sugarcane crop on time.
On Thursday, the ninth sitting of the 34th session of the current assembly started an hour and 38 minutes behind its schedule with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. Only 11 lawmakers were present at the outset of the sitting.
While answering queries by lawmakers during the Question-Hour, the minister said that general managers of the mills that did not follow the payment mode set by the government, had been arrested and sent behind the bars and he vowed to fully protect interests of the farmers.
The lawmakers both from treasury and opposition benches took the floor for registering their protest over the delayed payments to sugarcane growers.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami parliamentary leader Dr Wasim Akhtar staged a token walk-out for not addressing the grievances of sugarcane growers.
Parliamentary Secretary Schools and Education Department Roffian Julius told the house that the Punjab government had handed over government-owned schools to the private sector to improve their efficiency.
“Now these privately-run schools are showing tremendous results,” she added.
The parliamentary secretary said that the provincial government had attached high significance to education and a number of steps had been taken to double the literacy rate by the year 2025. Responding to a question by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Dr Noushin Ahmed, she said that huge budgetary allocations had been made for construction/rebuilding of schools and 36,000 new classrooms. She told a treasury member Tahir Mehmud that provision of new furniture was being ensured to almost all schools across Punjab.
The House did not take up legislative business while annual activity reports of the Parks and Horticulture Authority for six divisions were not presented.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) member Shehzad Munshi read his motion against the human rights secretary on which the chair sought the report.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Nabeela Hakim Ali pointed out the quorum following which the chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes.
Even then, the treasury could not fetch the required strength to the House and the chair adjourned the session to meet again on Friday 9am.