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ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a crushing defeat for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) the National Assembly was prorogued abruptly on Friday without initiating a debate on the mini-budget presented a day ago.

The house resumed its session with deputy speaker Qasim Suri in the chair, but it could not take up the agenda as quorum was pointed due to thin attendance of the lawmakers from both sides of the isle.

The house was supposed to initiate a debate on Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021.

On Thursday, the session was adjourned till Friday (today) after the opposition pointed out the quorum in the House.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had laid the Finance (supplementary) Bill, 2021 and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the NA.

The joint opposition staged a protest against the mini-budget and the bill, saying it is being done on the dictation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Earlier during the session, the opposition MPs started demanding floor on point of order.

However, the chair said that their demands would be met after the question hour.

Opposition criticises govt's plan to table mini-budget in NA

The PTI MNA, Uzma Riaz, in her question, raised the point that the accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case had also made a rehabilitation centre.

She was in process of asking her supplementary question that the lawmakers of opposition benches started raising their voices to point out quorum of the House. With this, the chair prorogued the house.

The house was informed that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has launched the work on stone pitching and sloping of stream (nullah) running down from Margallas and crisscrossing through Islamabad eventually, falling into Rawal Lake, KorangNullah, Nullah Lai, and Swan River.

In a written reply to a question, the Ministry of Interior said that stone pitching work, up till now, has been executed at I-8/1, I-10, I-9/1, I-8/2, G-6/4, G-6/2, F-6/3, F-6. F-6/4, G-6/4, F-7/3, F-7/4, F-8/2, F-8, F-10/3, G-8, F-10/3, F-6/1, G-11/4, and G-10 etc.

In the first instance, works executed at locations by considering the crossing of nullahs under bridges and culverts on both sides up and below the stream, especially the places where waste and garbage were dumped and streams got choked in monsoon season and heavy rains falls.

The house was also told that export of Pakistani workforce to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) has declined over the past few years mainly due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

In written replay a question, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said that the main reason for the declining proportion of Pakistani workforce in the GCC countries was the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic resulting into flight restrictions, vaccination requirements, and economic downturn.

“More than 100,000 permissions granted by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE) could not be materialised due to the outbreak of the pandemic,”it added.

However, it said that due to diplomatic efforts and resumption of flights, an increase was seen in October and November as 24,545 and 42,902 immigrants were registered for the GCC countries, respectively.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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