Parliamentary Secretary Higher Education Mehwish Sultana told the Punjab Assembly on Thursday that six women universities were functional across the Punjab, however, no proposal to establish women universities at divisional headquarters level was under consideration.
Answering questions by lawmakers during the Question-Hour session, she said the government was attaching high significance to promotion of education at higher level, adding ample funds had been earmarked in the provincial budget.
On a question by Mian Tariq Mehmud, the parliamentary secretary said Rs 572,500 and Rs 600,000 were allocated for year 2015-16 and 2016-17, respectively, for renovation of educational institutions in the province, adding Govt College of Commerce Gujrat received a total of Rs 4,500,000, Govt College I D Janjua College for Women, Lala Musa, Rs 25,5000, and Govt Inter-College Kharian got Rs 275,000 during the period under review.
Regarding allotment of land of Punjab University Lahore, she said 909 acres of land of the university was used to lease out on annual basis and as per decision of land committee constituted by the syndicate, revised lease rates every year. She dismissed the impression that the PU land was utilised for agriculture purpose. The parliamentary secretary told Jama’at e Islami’s Dr Wasim Akhtar that seven degree colleges were operating in the city and cantonment area Bahawalpur.
To a query by Muhammad Saqib Khurshid, Mehwish Sultana said 537 employees were appointed on contract basis in University of Engineering & Technology Lahore during 2010 to May 2016. She said 141 lecturers and assistant professors were recruited on ad hoc basis for two years. “All recruitment were made on merit by adopting given criteria,” she informed.
Earlier, the 4th sitting of the 27th session of the current assembly started one hour and 36 minutes behind its schedule time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.
Soon after recitation from the Holy Quran, PTI member Khurram Sheikh pointed out the quorum and the Chair ordered ringing of bells. Continuing their last day’s boycott, opposition benches did not turn to the House and staged a protest at the stairs of the assembly. After a lapse of 29 minutes the House went into session as following head count, then it was found complete.
The House resumed pre-budget discussion on the second day and lawmakers Waheed Gull, Asghar Ali Mandha and Shonaila Aslam put forward their recommendations for the budget 2017-18.
Present in the House, Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha, noted down the proposals for preparation of what she announced earlier to being a people-friendly budget for the next year 2017-18.
During the sitting, treasury member Uzma Bokhari moved a resolution on account of International’s Women Day which was adopted amid opposition’s boycott as the resolution paid glowing tributes to women parliamentarians for their commendable role in making legislation for safeguarding women’s rights.
The House reiterated its resolve to make every effort to protect women’s rights and making them more independent.
The House applauded steps of the Punjab government, including Women Protection Bill, amendment in Inheritance Law and creation of Violence Against Women Centres and also awarding 33% representation to women in the assembly.
Upon completion of the day’s agenda, the Speaker adjourned the House till next day (Friday) morning.