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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday approved 48 demands for grants worth over Rs943.161 billion after voice voting, rejecting all the 301 cut motions moved by opposition members.

The state minister for finance and revenue, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, presented the demands for grants one by one, which were passed by the house after discussion.

The demands for grants were related to Cabinet, Cabinet Division, Emergency Relief and Repatriation, Intelligence Bureau, Atomic Energy, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Pakistan Housing Development Authority, Prime Minister’s Office (Internal), Prime Minister’s Office (Public), National Disaster Management Authority, Board of Investment, Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission, Special Technology Zone Authority, Establishment Division, Federal Public Service Commission, National School of Public Policy, Civil Services Academy, National Security Division, Council of Common Interest, Communications Division, Pakistan Post, Power Division, Petroleum Division, Geological Survey of Pakistan, Foreign Affairs Division, Foreign Missions, Information and Broadcasting Division, miscellaneous expenditure of Information and Broadcasting Division, Interior Division, expenditure of Interior Division, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Combined Civil Armed Forces, National Counter Terrorism Authority, Narcotics Control Division, Railways Division, development expenditures of Cabinet Division, Establishment Division, Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, Communications Division, Power Division, Information and Broadcasting Division, Interior Division, Narcotics Control Division, capital outlays on development of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Petroleum Division, and Railways Division.

Winding up discussion on Communications Division, Minister of Communication Asad Mahmood said that all link roads of Lowari Tunnel would be completed during the tenure of the incumbent government.

Winding up discussion regarding the Foreign Affairs Division, state minister for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said that the government is pursuing a foreign policy aimed at protecting the interests of the people of Pakistan.

She said consular that access as well as other necessary assistance are regularly extended to Dr Afiya Siddiqui – a Pakistani national who is serving an 86-year sentence in the US.

Regarding the Kashmir issue, Khar said that “we’ve been waging diplomatic jihad on this front as Pakistan has consistently been raising the issue of Kashmir and the plight of Muslims in India at international forums”.

She said that India of today has become a rogue state as it is deviating from the principles of Nehru and Gandhi.

Responding to the cut motions, on the Narcotics Control Division, Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti said that his ministry annually seizes narcotics worth $8 billion despite meagre resources and manpower.

He said that all-out efforts are being made to control the use of synthetic drugs on campuses of educational institutes.

He said that it has been suggested that a fine of Rs2 million will be imposed on the use of synthetic drugs on campuses while anyone involved in selling drugs in educational institutes will be fined up to Rs4 million.

The house approved over Rs10.83 billion demand for grants for Marrrium Aurangzeb-led Information Ministry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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