PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly failed to table a bill on Wednesday that sought to prohibit the sale of tobacco and protect the health of non-smokers. The bill was designed to ban smoking in public places and public service vehicles.
It not only bans tobacco use in public places or public service vehicles but also bans cigarette advertisement in public places. As per the bill, the sale of tobacco to people below the age of 18 and the sale of tobacco within a 100-meter radius of an educational institute or health centre will be prohibited.
The owner, in-charge or managers of such areas shall display boards saying ‘No Smoking Zone’ and ensure that no one uses tobacco in public places. The bill also states that anyone who uses tobacco in public places or public service vehicles, shall be fined Rs1,000. If the offence is repeated, the fine shall extend to Rs10,000. According to the bill, there shall be no designated areas for tobacco users at any public place.
Sources claim that K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser deliberately overlooked the bill even though it was on the agenda. However, senior officials of the assembly said the speaker forgot to bring the bill up as Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai was not present in the session.
In other proceedings, the K-P government removed a provision from the local government act under which a local council was to be dissolved in case if fails to elect its nazim or naib nazim after three consecutive voting sessions.
The assembly passed a new bill amending the K-P Local Government Act, 2013. The paragraphs stating that the nazim and naib nazim of the district council or tehsil or town council shall be elected through a voting process within the council has been removed. Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan, who moved the bill, said the provisions were against the spirit of the Constitution and the law department has raised objections over it.
ANP lawmaker Sardar Hussain Babak said he supports the senior minister for removing the provision from the law. He criticised the government for making that amendment in the first place.
The government also tabled the K-P takeover of industrial estates or economic zones ordinance, 2016 and the tuberculosis notification bill, 2016.
JUI-F lawmaker Najma Shaheen raised the issue of madrassas registration in the question answer session. JUI-F lawmaker Munawar Khan and Mufti Said Janan requested Minister for Auqaf Haji Habibur Rahman to relax the registration process of religious seminaries. Munawar said the registration process has been made so complicated that it has become impossible for madrassas to register. The matter was referred to the relevant committee of the house which is already working over it.
Oil and gas
The house constituted a special committee under the chairmanship of the speaker comprising all the elected representatives of the southern district to discuss matters pertaining to oil and gas in the region. The issue was raised by Mufti Janan via an adjournment motion.
Resolution for Edhi
The assembly passed a resolution suggesting the federal government to declare the day of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s death as charity day in the country to pay tribute to his services.