ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research Ameer Sultan said Pakistan has become a locust-free country as a result of effective measures taken by the government.
Replying to a question during Question Hour session of the National Assembly, Ameer Sultan said locust has been eliminated from all 62 affected districts of the country.
He said the government has, so far, spent Rs3 billion to eliminate locust.
He said Rs1 billion out of that amount was provided by the federal government, while rest of the contribution was made by the provinces.
He said the federal government is considering allocating Rs26.4 billion for undertaking miscellaneous activities for the management of locust, which include procurement of pesticides and equipment.
He said proper mechanism is in place to respond any complaint regarding the crop munching pest.
Answering a question, Parliamentary Secretary Textile, Commerce, Industries and Production and Board of Investment Aliya Hamza Malik said the five essential items are being provided at subsidised rates through 400 outlets of the Utility Stores across Pakistan. She said the government had given Rs11 billion subsidy to the Utility Stores.
She said that the Utility Stores made sales of Rs100 billion, and paid tax of Rs4 billion to the government.
She said the government has allocated 71 billion rupees to provide wheat flour, sugar, ghee, rice, and pulses at subsidised prices.
Responding to another question, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nousheen Hamid said the government is enforcing ZigZag Technology in brick kilns to prevent air pollution.
Similarly, electrical vehicle policy is being introduced for four wheelers to overcome air pollution.
Responding to another question, Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib said operation of Waris Shah and Ravi Express trains will be revived soon, which was suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic.
In written reply to a question, Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati informed the National Assembly that a total of nine train incidents occurred from 2019 to Oct 2020. He said a total of 153 people were killed and Rs57.68 million losses occurred in these incidents.
Minister for Housing and Works Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema also told the House that his ministry had digitalized the process of houses allotments to government employees with a purpose to ensure transparency and fairness.
Responding to questions during question hour, he said, after the judgment of the Supreme Court, government houses and quarters were being allotted strictly on merit on maturity of turn on respective General Waiting List of the federal government servants under rule 6 & 7 of Accommodation Allocation Rules, 2002.
He said the general waiting list was being maintained and updated by the Estate Office regularly.
He said the IT section of the Estate Office had been established and the federal government employees can apply online or through mail for registration on General Waiting List.
He told that the general waiting list can be views on www.estateoffice.gov.pk.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021