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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was adjourned till August 6 due to lack of quorum, paving the way for the opposition to take on the government for its failure to ensure the presence of adequate number of members in the House.

Interestingly, some treasury lawmakers fell short to point out the quorum after deputy speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri, who was presiding over the session, did not allow them to speak on point of order.

However, an independent MNA, Mohsin Dawar stood up from his seat and pointed out the quorum due to which the House could not take up the agenda of the day as the quorum was not complete despite counting.

A total of 23 private members' bills, 21 reports of standing committees, 18 resolutions, two amendments in rules of procedure and conduct of business in National Assembly 2007, five motions under rule 259 and a motion to refer a bill to the joint sitting of parliament, were not taken up in the House.

Earlier, responding to a calling attention notice, the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, said that the government is removing paper mulberry (Broussonetiapapyrifera) - a tree which triggers pollen allergy - and planning to replace them with local varieties to contain pollen and other allergies in capital.

He said that various tree plantation drives have been completed in the capital. He said that only paper mulberry trees and some other species cause some kind of allergies that is why the government is pursuing a policy of removing one of such tree and planting 10 trees in their place.

Khan said that over 300,000 trees have been planted since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf PTI) came into power, adding now the current target is to plant 350,000 saplings in the current monsoon season.

To a question, he said that free medicine and treatment were provided to pollen allergy patients in the government health facilities in the capital. According to him, the total treatment cost per patient is up to $50 to 250, adding the trees, which trigger pollen would be replaced next year in May.

Responding to another calling attention notice, Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that the government is making all-out efforts to make the country a modern agriculture country in the region.

He said that various initiatives are being taken to bolster the agriculture sector and to put the country on the path of development and prosperity. He said that the country has four bumper crops this year. However, he said that Punjab and Sindh could not achieve their set target of cotton crop. The House was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 11am.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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