ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly could not make any legislation on Thursday due to lack of quorum but it did manage to refer 15 bills to joint sitting of parliament to be convened soon, for the passage, while three ordinances were laid.
Pakistan Airport Authority Ordinance, 2021, was also extended for a period of 120 days. The three ordinances which were laid in the house include Public Private Partnership Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Tax Laws (3rd Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The issue of quorum once again started haunting the house as Sheikh Fayazuddin of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) pointed out the quorum, following which the house remained house for more than an hour.
When the house was resumed again that too with great difficulty, the bills were referred to joint sitting, and some reports of standing committees were tabled in the house. However, deputy speaker Qasim Suri who had started clause by clause reading of the bill titled ‘The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021, there came yet another MNA – Rao Ajmal – with the lack of quorum issue in the house, forcing the chair with no option but to adjourn the house till Friday at 11am.
Meanwhile, the minister in-charge for poverty alleviation and special safety division, in a written reply, said that a total of Rs5 billion were deposited in Covid-19 account till August 26, 2021 which include Rs1.1 billion international donations and Rs3.9 billion domestic donations.
The house was also informed that development of tourism E-portal was under way and would be completed shortly to provide a one- window online solution to the tourists. In a written reply, Pakistan Development Corporation (PTDC) said that promotional activities on social media were being carried out vigorously to project Pakistan as an attractive tourist destination of the region. The E-visa system for over 90 countries and visa on arrival for 50 countries was introduced for the first time in Pakistan to boost tourists’ arrival. It said the draft national minimum standards for tourism and hospitality sector had been developed, while coverage of PTDC and tourist attractions on print and electronic media had also been increased substantially to attract local and foreign tourists. Pakistan Tourism Development Endowment Fund (PTDEF) has been created with seed money of Rs1 billion to promote tourism in the country.
The government has set up an endowment fund of Rs1 billion to execute its marketing plans for promotion of the country’s unexplored scenic sites and tourist resorts at local and international level. PTDC has also designed a ten-year roadmap National Tourism Strategy (NTS), 2020-2030 to uplift the tourism industry.
A five-year action plan (2020-25) had also been introduced for the promotion of tourism. The government has restructured PTDC, according to its new role as a coordination body; it is to shift its model from an operator to a policy maker and regulator.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021