Punjab Assembly witnessed another walkout from opposition members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), on Wednesday, as protests over not being made part of ‘The Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) and Research Center Bill’. PML-N lawmakers also claimed that all of their proposed amendments were bulldozed by the government. According to details, PMLN’s former minister for health, Khawaja Imran Nazir, wanted to speak on the bill but was not allowed by Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. As Nazir stood up, Elahi said that he did not know anything about the bill and should, therefore, sit down. It provoked Nazir to protest, which was joined by other colleagues from his party. Later, the government passed the said bill in the absence of PML-N with the majority. Earlier, former health minister, PMLN’s Khawaja Salman Rafique, had added to the discussion on the bill by saying that the House should pay tribute to the former chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, for constituting this institution of liver and kidney transplant. He added that previously, patients had to travel to India or China for treatment of liver diseases but Shahbaz took a lead by initiating this project of public welfare.Ex-minister claims PMLN projects still working despite disruptions from Saqib NisarRafique blamed the former chief justice, Saqib Nisar, for badly affecting PML-N projects by regularly summoning the leaders in the court, while adding that the projects are still working and the CJP has gone home. The former minister opposed the bill and asserted that the government had worked in haste by presenting it in Assembly whereas it should have been thoroughly discussed by the concerned standing committee before being deliberated upon here. He claimed that the opposition had proposed some suggestions in this regard but the treasury had not bothered to entertain them. Provincial minister for law, Raja Basharat, quoted the PMLN amendments, “The first (opposition proposal) was to remove the Planning and Development (P&D) chairman while the second one was to include Dr Saeed Akhtar in the board of governor.” He said that he rejected both proposals and wondered who would dispense funds if P&D chairman was removed from the institution. Dr Saeed Akhtar is not the only liver transplant doctor here, Basharat added. PML-N’s Malik Muhammad Ahmed applauded the services rendered by Dr Saeed for the PKLI. At which, Speaker Elahi said that it would be a great success for PMLN if this project was accomplished. He further directed the health minister, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, to benefit from the experience of Dr Saeed as well as Dr Faisal Dar. Later, the opposition members walked out from the House proceedings to protest against the Punjab government for not accommodating their proposals. After that, the Punjab government also unanimously passed the private “The Punjab Public Representation Laws Amendment Bill 2019” with regard to increases in the salaries of members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs), Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Minister, parliamentary secretaries and other members of the cabinet. The bill was passed merely a few hours after landing in the house. The concerned standing committee had earlier accorded its approval to the raise. According to the bill, each Punjab MPA would now receive Rs0.21 million per month as salary and incentives, as compared to previous Rs 83000. While the basic salary was increased from Rs 18,000 to Rs80,000 per month, daily allowance rose from Rs1000 to Rs 4000 per month and house rent was raised from Rs 29,000 to Rs 50,000 per month. Utility allowance was also increased from Rs 6000 to Rs 20,000 per month and the monthly hospitality allowance rose from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per month. Punjab Chief Minister would now receive a monthly package of over Rs 0.35 million. The House was later adjourned to meet again on Thursday morning. Published in Daily Times, March 14th 2019.