The Upper House of the Parliament has demanded the government to ensure lending of the commercial banks to the private sector for establishing industry in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Senate resumed its session on Monday with Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in the chair. The house passed a resolution that demanded the government to take immediate and result-oriented steps to ensure that the minimum lending of the commercial banks to the private sector for establishing industry and commercial activities in the provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is at par with those provinces’ total deposits in the banks. The house also recommended the government either to introduce a new legislation or amend the present laws or regulations in this regard. Speaking on a motion, Senator Faisal Javed said that the government has decided not to increase electricity tariff in the upcoming budget. He regretted the previous governments entered into expensive agreements with the independent power producers (IPPs). Taking the floor, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said that provision of cheap electricity to consumers on a sustainable basis is the government’s top priority. He said, “Under the renegotiated agreement with the IPPs, we will be able to save Rs700 billion.” He said due to the untiring efforts of the government, circular debt is being reduced. He said the government plans to increase the share of renewable energy in total power generation. In this regard, ten new dams are being constructed. Two bills were introduced in the House. These include ‘the Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ and ‘the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021.’ The bills were introduced by Senator Mohsin Raza and Senator Seemee Ezdi, respectively. The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution recommending the government to take necessary steps for operating Pakistan International Airline (PIA), a state-owned airline, flights between Peshawar and Lahore on a regular basis. In another resolution, the house urged the government to take concrete steps for provision of internet services across the province of Balochistan. The house passed a resolution recommending that the government should initiate a review process through all ministries to update the ratio of female officers at senior positions in all the Government entities and institutions. It also recommended identifying the gaps in gender inequality at senior level positions indicating also the reasons for the lower number of female officers. The house further recommended that on the basis of the review action conducted by the relevant quarters the government should take immediate measures to increase the number of women officers at decision making positions and ensure their meaningful representation at all levels in the Federal Government entities or institutions. The house will now meet on Thursday at 3:30pm.