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LAHORE: Minister for Law and Cooperatives Raja Basharat on Tuesday said that ninety-nine percent members of the Jahangir Tareen and like-minded groups met individually with the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, so there will be no difficulty in approving the Punjab budget.

He was addressing a reception for the newly elected officials of the Punjab Assembly Press Gallery. He congratulated the newly elected President Afzal Talib, Secretary Abbas Naqvi and other officials and said that the tradition of cordial relations between the government and the press would continue in the House.

The Law Minister said that the PTI government had done its best to fulfill the vision of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister during the last three years and the government had never faced any embarrassment in the matter of the Assembly business that had passed record 83 bills while that number could increase if Covid 19 hadn't come. Raja Basharat sharply criticized the attitude of the opposition and said that the role of the opposition on legislation was mostly negative.

"We gave a lot of opportunities to the Leader of the Opposition, as in last ten years, the production order was not amended as we did because Hamza Shahbaz had to be brought on the production order but Hamza Shahbaz would come, sit in the chamber and go back. He didn't bother to benefit his people from this activity." Raja said that Hamza Shahbaz came out of jail but did not come to the assembly.

Rejecting the criticism of the opposition, Raja Basharat said that Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was taking the assembly proceedings in accordance with the rules, which was why the opposition did not challenge our legislation in any court so far.

He invited the opposition to play its constitutional and active role in the standing committees. Raja Basharat said that speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi played an important role in empowering the standing committees.

Raja Basharat said that they had changed the centuries old laws according to the present needs which had not happened before. He said, "The Prisons Act 1894 and the Cooperatives Act 1925 and others have been updated.

Through the Succession Act 2021, the transfer of inherited property will now be easier from NADRA instead of the court where it was much delayed." He further said that Hamza Shahbaz was being given the tasks beyond his powers, sometimes to overthrow the government and sometimes another mission impossible.

Raja Basharat, while describing the performance of the department of cooperatives during his tenure ie last six months, said that the Punjab Liquidation Board had relinquished possession of property worth Rs 3 billion including thousands of kanals of valuable land in Thokar, Bedian Road, Ferozepur Road, Murree and Pindi.

He said that at present Rs 80 crore was due to the account holders for which they are ready to pay as Five billion cash was available with the Board.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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