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ISLAMABAD: The opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly Friday strongly protested against increase in prices of petroleum products, encircling the speaker's dais carrying placards inscribed with anti-government slogans.

Soon after the proceedings of the House were resumed with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, the opposition started chanting anti-government slogans, and then they encircled the dais of the speaker, making it virtually impossible for him to run the proceedings.

During the question hour, the parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Asif took the floor and spoke about hike in prices of petroleum products.

He said that the parliament is at risk of redundancy as lawmakers are not getting replies to their questions, saying the speaker must not act as a silent spectator as he should take notice of it.

He drew the attention of the deputy speaker to ask the government about "petrol and gas bombs" thrown on the people almost on a fortnightly basis.

"Have some mercy on the people of Pakistan, as they could not bear the cruelty of the government anymore," he added.

With this, Asif announced to walkout from the House, following which, the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, spoke about "non-serious" attitude of the opposition.

POL products: Ogra works out massive price increase

He said that the opposition pointed out the quorum on multiple occasions during the session, adding there is a need to ensure the decorum of the house.

After the House prorogued by the deputy speaker, the opposition also staged a protest outside the parliament, and demanded the government to review its decision of increasing the POL prices on a fortnightly basis.

The parliamentary secretary for interior, Shaukat Ali, said that the Metro Bus project from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) would be made operational for commuters by March 2022.

During question hour, he said the tender had already been floated for procurement of buses and their procurement would be completed within a month.

The infrastructure work on the Metro Bus, he added, has been executed by the National Highways Authority (NHA).

However, he said that certain essential items and equipment such as ticketing system, security surveillance system, ITS, command and control centre, bus depot with ancillaries have not been undertaken by the NHA but is required to operationalise the system.

"For the purpose, a separate PC-1 has been prepared by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), which approved by the government," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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