Govt to review ban on new gas connections, NA told

Muhammad Anis
Saturday, May 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that the ban imposed on new gas connections by the previous government will be reconsidered by the federal cabinet.

Minister of State for Energy Musadik Malik told the House during the Question-Hour that it will be his effort to revive the gas schemes where possible, keeping in view the availability of gas in the country.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi regretted that the PTI government did not construct any motorway project in its four-year tenure. He said repair and maintenance of roads, particularly the GT Road, were also neglected during this period and also pointed out that billions of rupees were also allocated but the condition of roads could not be improved. However, he declined to comment on the performance of the ex-communication minister, Murad Saeed.

Meanwhile, the NA proceedings for the second consecutive day faced a lack of quorum pointed out during the Question-Hour as parliamentarians from both sides of benches expressed strong reservations on the absence of cabinet members in the House. Ms Saira Bano, a female parliamentarian from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), pointed out the lack of quorum when the Question-Hour was about to be completed. The GDA member, while raising the question of quorum, said front two rows of ministers were empty.

Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani also drew the attention of Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi towards the absence of cabinet members in the House. He said the incumbent government should not follow the steps of the last government when no importance was given to Parliament.

Meanwhile, PPP member Ms Shazia Sobia and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) parliamentarian Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali also regretted the absence of ministers in the House. “Just change of faces would not serve the purpose,” the JI member said.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi sought a ruling from the Speaker with regard to questions referred to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The minister sought the ruling from the Speaker while referring to information sought by a parliamentarian with regard to collection of Dam Fund and its utilisation.

In his written reply, the law minister said the Supreme Court of Pakistan is the custodian of the Dam Fund. This ministry has already approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan with the request to provide the requisite information which is still awaited. "The same will be provided to the National Assembly as and when shared," the written reply said.

The question was first asked during the 35th session and is being deferred for the last six years. Murtaza Javed Abbasi said they have great respect for the judiciary as per the Constitution and otherwise but Parliament is also a supreme institution and each of its members represents nearly a million people and he should get answers to his questions.