Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf on Friday informed the Senate that the Cabinet has approved 10,000 quotas each for the intending pilgrims, of over 80-year old and those who remained unsuccessful in last two-three balloting for Hajj.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the minister said the government had already abolished all type of quotas and currently no quota of Prime Minister, Ministers or provinces existed.
He said ‘The applicants who remained unsuccessful continuously for the last three or more times during the previous years, will be selected through separate balloting and their number will be restricted to 10,000 only.’ The leftover applicants will be included in the general balloting also,’ he added. He said last year all intending pilgrims of over 90-year old were exempted from the balloting.
The minister said some 375,000 applications were received for the forthcoming Hajj under government scheme and after balloting around 120,000 pilgrims would be selected.
He said the Saudi government has also been requested to enhance Pakistan’s quota as per the new census. He said the government has considerably reduced the Hajj package and around Rs. 270,000/Rs 280,000 were being charged from the intending pilgrims and two time meals was also being provided to the Hajji during Hajj.
Yousaf said the balloting for the Hajj could not be held due to stay order. The ministry has also approached the Apex Court to vacate the stay, he said. As many as six reports of various standing committees including five from Interior and one from Industries and Production were presented in the Senate on Friday.
Chairman Standing Committee on Interior Abdul Rehman Malik, presented five reports of the committee on the Miscarriage of Justice (Compensation) Bill, 2017, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Police (Amendment) Bill 2017, and the Federal Investigation Commission Bill, 2017.
Senator Abdul Rehman Malik also presented the report of the Interior Committee on the clubbed issue of grievances of media-persons regarding attack on Ahmad Noorani, a journalist in the Islamabad, which was raised in the house on 30th October, 2017 and issue of Hamid Meer and Mutiullah Jan, raised in the House on 20th November 2017.
Senator Taj Haider on the behalf of the Senator Hidayat Ullah presented the report regarding the details of official vehicles at the disposal of the Ministry of Industries and Production and its attached department. Senate of Pakistan on Friday passed the bill of the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
The bill was moved by the Minister for Energy, Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari which was unanimously passed with few amendments proposed by the Senator Saleem Mandiwala.
Minister for Housing and Works Akhram Khan Durrani on Friday apprised the Senate that Federal Lodges in Quetta has completed been renovated and reconstructed with an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 million.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the minister said that the incumbent government should be appreciated for reconstructing the Federal Lodges in Quetta as it were damaged in bomb blast.
He said no past government had given attention to the lodges adding that Federal Lodges at Peshawar have also been renovated.
The minister said that the PC.I had also been submitted for construction of additional block at Federal Lodge No I, Zarghoon Road, Quetta. Five new suites and halls would be constructed in the Federal Lodges, he said.
He said no body was residing/ staying permanently in the Federal Lodges Quetta and assured the house if anyone found, strict action would be taken in this regard.
Regarding NAB notice, the Minister said he did nothing wrong and he was ready to face the accountability bureau. He said the policy has changed for the first time and now mosques would also be built by the ministry. After constructing mosques, advertisement would be given for hiring ‘Khateebs’.—APP