Bill to legalise chopper use tabled in KP Assembly

Nisar Mahmood
Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

PESHAWAR: The bill to allow the provincial government to either use the official helicopter or hire one for private use was tabled in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday amid the opposition’s chants of ‘No NRO’.

Minister for Labour and Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Shaukat Yousafzai on behalf of the chief minister introduced The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ministers (salaries, allowances, and privileges) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the house. Amendments in the bill not only suggest the use of an official helicopter and renting an airplane for private purposes with the permission of the chief minister, it also legalizes the use of the provincial government chopper with retrospective effect from 2008.

After the passage of the amended bill, the official helicopter use by any person since 1 November 2008 cannot be questioned and from now onward any government functionary including the chief minister, minister, or bureaucrat can use the government helicopter or hire a plan for rent for private use with the prior permission of the chief minister and the government may time to time fix the rate of rent.

The opposition protested the bill, terming it an NRO to provide legal cover to the chopper use by the party leaders including Imran Khan during the last nine years’ rule of PTI. Two other bills were also introduced in the House.

Meanwhile, the House witnessed rumpus and exchange of hard words between the treasury and opposition when ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak questioned the role of Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, allowing Sajida Hanif of the PTI.

Sajda Hanif and other PTI women lawmakers were protesting against the alleged remarks of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman against women during a public rally. She condemned the alleged derogatory remarks against women.

The opposition protested against giving the floor to the PTI female MPA against rules while the PTI women MPAs also walked out of the House in protest. Sardar Babak said the speaker being the custodian of the House should not become a party and attend the party meetings but Speaker Mushtaq Ghani not only arranged people for the long march on Islamabad but also gave the floor to the party MPA as she belonged to the ‘intishar’ party.

The word ‘intishar’ infuriated Malik Liaqat and Kamran Bangash of the ruling party, leading to the exchange of harsh words between the treasury and the opposition. Mushtaq Ghani while replying to Babak said he was the custodian of the House inside the assembly but outside he was a party activist and free to go where he wanted.

After failing to cool down the situation and bring the house in order, the speaker had to adjourn the session until 2 pm Tuesday (today) while deferring the question hour and further proceedings.