LAHORE: The Punjab government introduced six bills in the Punjab Assembly during its siting on Wednesday.

The bills tabled by Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja in the House were the Punjab Prevention of Conflict of Interest Bill 2018, the Punjab Right to Public Services Bill 2018, the Punjab Domestic Workers Bill 2018, the Punjab Skills Development Authority Bill 2018, the Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Amendment) Bill 2018, and the Punjab Board of Technical Education (Amendment) Bill 2018.The Chair referred these bills to the House's special committee-I for further review and recommendations.

Earlier, the 8th sitting of the 5th session of the current assembly was started an hour and 43 minutes behind its scheduled time with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

As many as 70 lawmakers were present at the adjournment of the sitting. It is pertinent to mention that Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz Sharif remained absent since the start of current session. Soon after recitation from the Holy Quran, Provincial Minister for Prisons and Home Zawar Hussain Warraich replying to queries by lawmakers during Question-Hour session told the House that the government would establish new jails in the different areas of Punjab, for which ample funds had been allocated in the provincial budget 2018-19.

He said, seven jails were functional in Lahore Region including Lahore, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Shiekhupura and Narowal.He said, 889 women and 650 juvenile prisoners were lodged in different jails of the province.

He said, prosons department was conducting rehabilitation and vocational courses including beautician and sewing courses for prisoners in collaboration of TEVTA and various NGOs.

Answering a question, the minister told the House that family rooms had been completed in four jails of Punjab including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi which would soon be functional to facilitate prisoners.       PML-N lawmakers especially Waris Kallu, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Bilal Tarrar, Malik Nadeem Kamran made hue and cry over the arrest of their fellow lawmaker Khawaja Salman Rafiq by the National Accountability Court (NAB) and demanded the Chair to issue his production order so that he could attend the ongoing assembly session.

Responding to the opposition's demand in a harsh way, Provincial Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja said the issue did not fall in the Punjab Assembly's jurisdiction; therefore, the Speaker had no authority to issue production order for the detained PML-N lawmaker.

He recalled that PML-N government did not issue production order of Moonis Elahi and Ashraf Sohna during its tenure.

He questioned that as to why previous PML-N government did not amend rules about the issue.

On the completion of day's agenda, the Chair adjpourned the House to meet again on Thursday (December 13) at 11:00 am.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018