Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday announced to withdraw the government decision of advancing the clocks by one hour from April 1. Responding to points of order raised in the National Assembly, the prime minister said this decision was taken by the federal cabinet last year to save energy. However, he said, if it was the sense of the House that advancement in time created problems for the people, he had no hesitation to bow before the House.
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Earlier, on a call-attention notice, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf defended the decision of advancing the clocks by one hour from April 1, saying the government had decided to advance the clocks from first of April for a period of seven months that would help save 250 megawatts electricity daily. However, a number of opposition members questioned the move and asked the government to review the decision. Khawaja Saad Rafiq of the PML-N, on a point of order, defended the criticism on his party for delaying the presentation of the constitutional package and said an impression had been created in the media that there was a deadlock in the committee, which was not correct.
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“The committee is working with consensus and soon the package would be presented in parliament,” he said. Minority legislator of the PML-Q Akram Maseeh Gill, on a point of order, criticised the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR) for not considering the proposals of minorities for constitutional amendments. He also protested non-inclusion of any member from the minority in the committee. He staged a token walkout from the House to record his protest. However, explaining the composition of the committee, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza pointed out that she had formed the committee in consultation with parliamentary leaders. During a point of order, legislators from Fata were seen divided on the issue of Article 247 of the Constitution.
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On another point of order, Pervez Ashraf said the country was facing an acute power shortage due to unprecedented decrease in water flow from major reservoirs. He said the country had the capacity to generate 6,400 megawatts hydropower but due to water shortage, it was now only generating 1,500 megawatts.However, he said, it was expected that the water flow would soon increase and unscheduled loadshedding would come to an end within 10 days.
By: The News