Responding to a call attention notice moved by Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and others regarding tax imposition on incoming overseas telephone calls by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority‚ Leader of the House Jahangir Badr said the tax has been imposed by the IT Ministry and not the PTA. He said tax has been levied to bring parity between the calls made from Pakistan and the ones made from abroad. Jahangir Badr said this tax will bring a revenue of five hundred million dollars to the government exchequer.
The movers‚ however‚ opposed the tax calling it a burden on overseas Pakistanis. Members from MQM announced to walk out from the House till the withdrawal of this tax.
The chair referred the “Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan Bill 2012” to the concerned committee with the direction to submit report on the bill on the next session of the House.
The Senate was informed that an amount of 31 million rupees has been allocated for routine maintenance of Pindi Bhattian-Faisalabad Motorway (M-3) in financial year 2012-13.
Replying to a question‚ Minister for Communications Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan told the House that it includes seal coat on cracked surface to improve general riding condition. He said first aid facilities and Trauma Centre at Mini Service area Rashkai Interchange have been established. He said seven ambulances on eight toll plazas have been provided by FWO and four ambulances by National Highways and Motorway Police on four Beats.
To another question‚ the Minister said currently 917 vehicles are with the Motorway Police. He said the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M-2) was completed and opened for traffic in November 1997. However‚ it has completed its design life and requires complete overlay. He said NHA has decided to undertake complete rehabilitation through public-private partnership and the agreement in this regard is likely to be finalized and signed in December this year.
Minister for Climate Change Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan told the House that National Disaster Management Authority has a total staff of 136 people and none of them is rehired. He said the NDMA in collaboration with UN Partners has extended several basic trainings in the field of disaster management to the people of‚ and government officials serving in the remote areas of the country.
The Minister said the authority has also established a National Institute of Disaster Management to focus on training of disaster management professionals and the communities in Pakistan.
He said in June this year we coordinated with all the provinces for the possible rains and flood in the country. He said the federal government is providing food assistance to most flood affected districts of Sindh.
The Senate was informed on friday that the number of ghost schools in the country has reduced from twenty thousand to around eight hundred only.
Minister of State for Education and Training Sardar Shahjahan Yusuf told the House during question hour that cases of financial embezzlement against four provincial directors in basic education community schools project of the National Education Foundation are underway. He said the Ministry is further probing the cases of ghost schools which have been referred to NAB and FIA.
The House will now meet on Monday at 4:00 PM.