Punjab Assembly passes bills on katchi abadis and kite flying
* Opp opposes katchi abadis bill, says committee tabled it without recommendations
* Law minister says ’Q’ introduced bill first
By Rana Kashif
LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly (PA) on Monday passed the Punjab Katchi Abadis (Amendment) Bill 2009 and the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying (Amendment) Bill 2009. The PA has also tabled the Punjab Health Care Bill 2009.
Under the Katchi Abadis Bill, amendments have been made in sections 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Act VIII of 1992. Under the amendment in Section 5, the government shall form an implementation committee for a district in which a katchi abadi is located. Under Section 6, “March 23 1985” has been replaced with “December 31, 2006”.
In the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying (Amendment) Bill 2009, it had been said “no person shall commit or abet an act of kite flying, manufacture, sell or offer to sale a kite; and manufacture, store or offer for sale metallic wire, nylon cord, any other thread coated with sharp manja or any other injurious material for the purpose of kite flying”. The bill said, “The nazim concerned may, through a notification issued with the prior approval of the government, allow kite flying and sale of kites for a period of 15 days during the spring season in a year.” The amendment also said a violator would be “liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to fine not exceeding Rs 100,000 or both”.
Separately, the Punjab Healthcare Bill 2009 aims at improving quality of health-care services in the province. The establishment of a healthcare commission and an ombudsman is also included the bill.
Opposed: The opposition parties, however, opposed the Katchi Abadis Bill, saying that the committee concerned had forwarded it to the House without taking recommendations of the committee members. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid member Mohsin Khan Leghari said the committee members were “not even aware of the bill”. He said the bill should be re-sent to the committee for discussion.
Introduced: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the legislation was first introduced by the previous government. He also said the previous government had introduced an ordinance on katchi abadis to benefit land grabbers. He said the bill had brought in the House in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders. The opposition protested against the allegations, but the speaker continued the proceedings and the bills were passed with a majority.