Punjab AssemblyThe Punjab Assembly on Tuesday decided to take action against the officers of local government department for not being present during the proceedings despite the fact that the question-hour was related to the same department. The ruling of the speaker makes it mandatory for the secretary concerned to remain present during the proceedings when the question-hour is related to his department. As per the details, senior PML-N MPA Samiullah Khan raised the issue that it is mandatory for the concerned secretary to remain present during the proceedings and his absence is sheer violation of the ruling of the Speaker. Panel of Chairman Mian Shafi Muhammad showed his displeasure as he asked that why the secretary local government is not present. He was told that he is in Islamabad for an official meeting. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat assured the House that stern action will be taken against the officials who are absent. Earlier, the House proceedings started with laps of one hour and fifty-three minutes under chair of panel of chairmen Mian Muhammad Shafi. The House took an interesting turn when the opposition and a treasury lawmaker questioned the proceedings of Punjab Assembly being run without adopting due procedure of the sequence in names nominated as panel of chairmen to run House in absence of Speaker. It was astonishing that the House was being run by a person who is nominated next to the panel of chairmen to run proceedings in absence of senior panel of chairmen, while senior panel of chairmen Mian Muhammad Shafi was also present in the House. First panel of chairmen Mian Shafi chaired the House but after that Pakistan Muslim League’s MPA Muhammad Abdullah Warraich started chairing the House proceedings while Shafi was present in the House. At which PTI’s MPA Saeed Akbar Khan Nawani pointed out that in absence of speaker, the panel of chairmen runs the House proceedings but if the panel of chairmen is not present then next to him runs the House proceedings but in this case the panel of chairmen is present in the House but House proceedings are being run straightway which is violation of rules and traditions. At which Mian Shafi left the House. After that Warraich called the business of Mian Shafi who once again entered into the House. But this time provincial law minister Raja Basharat grilled Warraich over calling his business. Raja said “you cannot address the business of panel of chairman” at which Mian Shafi left the House. On a point, PPP’s MPA Syed Usman Mehmood expressed his strong concern about delay on the part of concerned departments in submitting replies in response to the queries put by both treasury and opposition lawmakers. He demanded ruling for early submission of replies. PTI’s MPA Mr. Ahmed Khan Bhachar (who is also parliamentary secretary of local government and answering the queries of the lawmakers in Punjab Assembly) seconded the stance of the PPP’s MPA Usman. The Panel of Chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi directed to the concerned departments to submit replies within a period as prescribed in Rule 54 of “Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997”. Speaking during the zero hour, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Uzma Kardar pointed out that sale and purchase of drugs were openly going on in the city. She also said that drugs were openly available to students. She said that government should take strict action against those who were involved in the drug business. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat, while addressing the anti-drug campaign in the province, said that the complaints regarding sale of alcohol, ice, heroin, hashish and other drugs are valid and this issue had become a menace of society. However, He said, during the last six months, 7,926 cases were registered against drug sellers and challans of 7,600 cases were filed in the courts. He further said that 114 kg of heroin, four kg of ice, 740 liters of liquor and more than two thousand other drugs were destroyed. He said that PTI government was taking action on priority basis to make educational institutions drug free. He said that 174 cases had been registered against drug dealers outside educational institutions. The law minister said that the “sheesha” was banned whereas hundreds of cases had been registered for its prevention as well as effective actions were also being taken against the perpetrators involved in the business of sheesha secretly. The session was later adjourned to meet again on Friday morning after the break of two days.