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Islamabad: (Parliament Times) The National Assembly resumed its session in Islamabad on Wednesday morning with Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair.

The House offered fateha for the souls of Captain Junaid and Sepoy Amjad who were martyred in a clash with terrorists in Swabi on Tuesday.

The House also offered fateha for the departed soul of the mother of MNA Naveed Qamar.

The National Assembly was informed today that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has serious concerned on the matter of manufacturing substandard medicines and has adopted zero-tolerance policy against the culprits.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr. Darshan told the House during question hours that the Authority has cancelled or suspended the registration of 89 drugs of pharmaceutical companies manufacturing substandard medicines during the last four years. Eighteen drugs manufacturing licenses have also been cancelled during this period.

He said 10158 new medicines have been registered for local manufacturing and import by Registration Board during last four years. He pointed out that five thousand applications for registration of various medicines are under process at present.

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House that the government has taken measures for up-gradation of electricity system before the start of upcoming summer season. The measures include construction of new grid stations, installation of additional transformers, augmentation of overloaded power transformers, construction of new transmission lines and remodeling of old and weak transmission lines with higher rating capacity conductor. The measures also include removal of system constraints in each DISCO and NTDC, bifurcation of overloaded feeders, availability of new transformers at each sub-division and upgradation and enhancement of transformers reclamation workshops.

To a question, he said three hours load-shedding is being carried out in urban areas while four to six hours in rural areas except on feeders where cases of electricity theft and more line losses are reported. He said all the system constraints including overloaded transformers will be overcome by June this year. It will help further reduce load-shedding.

Answering a question, Abid Sher Ali said the first turbine of 250 megawatts of Neelam-Jhelum hydro power project will be operational by the end of this year. He said the plant will be fully operational by the end of next year.

Replying a question, Minister of State for Water and Power told the House Ghabir Dam project is being implemented by government of Punjab through federal PSDP in Chakwal district. He said the work on the project is going on and will be completed in three years. He said the dam will have a storage capacity of 66,203 acres feet and will bring additional areas of 15,000 acres under irrigation besides drinking water supply to the adjoining villages.

To a question, the Minister said as a result of the efforts of the government electricity generation has been increased from 13000 megawatts to 17500 megawatts. He said industry is being provided uninterrupted supply of electricity resulting in enhanced industrial production.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed while responding a calling attention of Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani and others, said Prime Minister himself is holding the portfolio of Ministry of Communications. He said he will request the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the National Highway Council of the National Highway Authority to discuss financial and promotional matters of the authority.

He said it is the vision of Prime Minister to carry out development across the country without any discrimination.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid introduced two bills in the House.

These are The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) bill, 2017 for amendments in article 99 regarding rules for delegation of powers and The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) bill, 2017 for amendments in different articles relating to election reforms.

Dr. Nafeesa Shah on a point of order wanted to speak on International Women Day being observed today. The chair said the members will be allowed to speak on the day after the disposing of the agenda items. On this the opposition staged walk out from the House.

Later, speaking on the women day, Tahira Aurangzeb stressed the need for giving more attention on girl’s education.

In the meanwhile, Abdul Sattar Bachani pointed the quorum and the chair suspended the proceedings of the House till quorum is complete.

Speaking with reference to International Women Day, the members paid tribute to the women for their contribution in Parliament and other fields for the development for the country. They also paid tribute to world women particularly Muslim women who contributed greatly in difference fields.

They said women played crucial role in the independence of Pakistan. They paid tribute to women who struggled for democracy including Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Begum Kalsoom Nawaz. They pointed out that women contributed greatly to the economy of the country.

They demanded that every political party should give four percent general seats to women in the election. They also demanded that Radio and TV channels should dedicate at least one hour daily for awareness programme regarding women rights and procedures to get these rights. They said that women are human beings and their due human rights should be given to them. They said women now-a-days are not vulnerable and have forceful voice in the parliament. They appreciated the women caucus for carrying out twenty-seven legislations for women rights and empowerment. They were of the view that development of the country is not possible without participation of women in every field of life. They said discrimination against women should be eliminated. They demanded that steps should be taken to end violence against women.

Participating in the debate, the members also enumerated steps taken by the present government for the welfare and empowerment of women. They said job quota of women has been increased to 15% and legislation carried out for women empowerment.

Those who spoke included, Tahira Bukhari, Dr. Azhra Fazal, Kiran Haider, Nafeesa Khattak, Tahira Aurangzeb, Shiza Fatima Khawaja, Dr. Nighat Shakeel, Asiya Nasir, Shaista Pervaiz, Naseema Hafeez, Shafqat Mahmood, Ayesha Syed, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Arif Alvi and Shazia Marri.

On the International Women Day today, the National Assembly passed a unanimous resolution paying tributes to all the women who have struggled in all professions.

The resolution moved by Shaista Pervaiz appreciated all the women who have contributed to the democratic struggle in the country.

It condemned all acts of injustice, discrimination and violence against women.

The resolution recognized that there is still a long way to create an enabling environment conducive to the empowerment and protection of women as guaranteed by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The House will now meet tomorrow morning at 10:30.

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