Bill passed to give Province control of Drug Courts

LAHORE: The Provincial Assembly passed the Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Fatima Jinnah Medical University Lahore (Amendment) Bill 2015 on Thursday.According to the amendment in Section 31 of the Punjab Drugs (Amendment) Act, the words “federal government” would be replaced with “provincial government.” All powers exercised by the federal government with respect to the drugs courts in the Punjab would be handed over to the provincial government.

The amended Fatima Jinnah Medical University Lahore (Amendment) Bill 2015 has extended the age of the vice chancellor from 61 years to 65 years.The bills were moved by Law Minister Rana Sanuallah. The law minister also introduced the Punjab Poultry Production Bill 2016.In its statement of objectives, the bill states that during last 35 years, poultry farming in Pakistan had emerged as an important sub-sector of livestock with a sustained average growth rate of 8-10 per cent per year. “This expansion continues to fulfil protein requirements of the country as Punjab contributes some 73 per cent to poultry production in the country.”

“It has become necessary to introduce a regulatory framework for poultry farms to curb diseases which result in heavy economic losses. The Pakistan Poultry Association has demanded on several occasions to formulate regulations for registration and regulation of existing and new poultry farms and management of bio-security issues.”

“The government has, therefore, proposed this bill to regulate poultry production activities in the province for benefit of all stakeholders,” it states.Minister for Human Rights Khalil Tahir Sindhu and the minister for housing and urban development fielded the question hour queries.

Sindhu told the House that there was no discrimination in registration of marriage, divorce, birth and death certificates of Christians.He said under the Local Government Act 2013, local governments had been authorised to issue these certificates. Sindhu said the department had asked for a list of bishops who registered marriages.

Responding to a question, the minister said some 2,467 transgender citizens were registered with the Social Welfare Department in the province.He said the federal government had not counted transgenders separately in the 1998 census. He said there was no update about their population.On Thursday, members of the Opposition benches pointed out quorum twice when the government business started. After completion of the agenda, Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani adjourned the session indefinitely.


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