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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Wednesday laid, "The Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020" and four bills including "The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2020" before the National Assembly.

Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan laid, "The Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020" before the Lower House of the Parliament and introduced four bills including: (i) The Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2020, (ii) National College of Arts Institute Bill, 2020, (iii) National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and (iv) The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Later, the National Assembly resumed discussion on locusts' swarms destroying crops in the country as lawmakers demanded sufficient resources to be allocated to address this challenge.

Some lawmakers were of the view that the pests were presenting a bigger challenge than the coronavirus as they were devouring crops and threatening food security.

They called for aerial sprays in the affected districts.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the revenue of Pakistan Post has significantly increased under the present government.

He said our first year saw 70 percent and the second year 110 percent increase in its revenue.

The minister regretted that the previous governments left all the state-owned enterprises in losses including the Pakistan Steel Mills, the Pakistan International Airlines and the Pakistan Railways.

He said, "We are reforming these entities and its benefit will reach the masses."

Regarding coronavirus, the minister said the federal government provided Personal Protective Equipment, masks and ventilators to the provinces.

He further said, "We are strengthening our healthcare system in this time of crisis. We have also given a mega stimulus package of 1,200 billion rupees to provide succor to different segments of society during these testing times."

While speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan assured the House of conducting free, fair and transparent investigation into Karachi plane crash incident. He said that 97 out of 99 persons onboard the aircraft died.

He said the preliminary report will be presented before the house on 22nd of this month. He said the decoding of voice and data boxes have been done and this will be made a part of the inquiry to make it credible.

He said the International Pilots Association has now been requested to provide one pilot and one technician to help in the investigation of the crash.

The minister said the inquiry reports of other plane crashes that took place in the recent past including those in the federal capital will also be made public.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that about 56,000 stranded Pakistanis have been brought back from different parts of the world by operating 285 flights.

He said out of 12, five flights were operated to the US to bring back 1,200 Pakistanis.

He said 479 bodies of overseas Pakistanis have also been brought back.

He said that the outsourcing of airports and the PIA's Roosevelt Hotel in New York will be done in the most transparent manner, and a committee for this purpose has been constituted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020