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ISLAMABAD: The lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed nine private members’ bills and two government bills and referred four bills to the joint sitting of the parliament to be held today (Thursday).

The house passed the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Bill, 2022, moved by PPP’s Mahreen Bhutto and Agha Rafiullah. Another bill, “the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Bill, 2022” moved by Rafiullah was also passed by the house.

The house also passed the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 moved by the PML-N MNA, Mehnaz Akbar Aziz.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, moved two bills which were considered as supplementary agenda in the house.

These bills were the National Assembly Secretariat Bill, 2022 and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers (Oath and Fees) (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The house also passed six other private members’ bills which include the Islamabad Community Integration Bill, 2020, the Pakistan Courier and Logistics Regulatory Authority Bill, 2019, the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The National Assembly referred four bills to the joint sitting of the parliament for consideration which includes the Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2021, the Protection of Parents Bill, 2021, the National Information Technology Board Bill, 2022 and the Pak University of Engineering and Emerging Technology University Bill, 2022.

The Minister for Heath, Abdul Qadir Patel, thanked the National Assembly for repealing two acts passed by the previous government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

He said that the repealing of two “black laws” including the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Act and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Act were needed the most.

Due to the PMDC Act, over 55 percent Sindh seats in medical colleges remained vacant, while over 18,000 students preferred getting admission abroad to pursue medical education. He said that the PIMS Act made the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences a private entity.

He said that some blue-eyed persons of the former PTI government were drawing hefty packages and that too, according to him, without doing anything exemplary to improve the performance of the institution.

The house also referred four private members’ bills to the concerned committees for further consideration which include the National University for Security Sciences, Islamabad Bill, 2022, the Pak China Gwadar University, Lahore Bill, 2022, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Smart Institute of Sciences and Technology Bill, 2022.

Murtaza Abbasi informed the house that the work on the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M-6) would start after getting approval from the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

Responding to a calling-attention notice regarding the inordinate delay in the start of Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway, he said that the PTI government completely ignored the project.

“The six-lane Rs307 billion public-private partnership project had been forwarded to ECNEC for approval, and after getting its nod, design of the project would be finalized in six months,” he added. The house rejected a motion for the introduction of a bill aimed at declaring drug test of students compulsory, saying there already exists a law in this regard.

The parliamentary affairs minister said there already exists a law regarding sample testing of students while the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had a joint venture for creating awareness among students to avoid the menace of drugs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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