Published On: Thu, Jun 9th, 2022
Published in Category: Islamabad

Senate committee defers matter of scholarship given to a lady named Ms Izza Asad Rasul

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ISLAMABAD: The Science and technology Committee met on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Senator Afnan Ullah Khan here at the Parliament House.


Briefing by the Secretary MoST on the working and performance of PSQCA with special reference to discuss on the legislative and administrative measures taken for the improvement in standards and quality control mechanism was taken up by the Committee. The Ministry informed the committee that amendments have been made in Pakistan Conformity Assessment Rules 2011 for ease of doing business which included reduction of no of inspections from 04 -02 per annum and reduction license issuance timeline from 45 days to 28 days.  The committee was briefed on the promotion of officers for BS 17 to 19 which is under process and informed that recruitments to fill up the manpower gap has also been initiated


The committee was also briefed on the steps taken for ease of doing business. The committee was informed that in compliance of the decision of Council of Common Interest, PSQCA harmonized 580 food standards with Provincials food authorities. It was also apprised that 443 standards have been developed in 2021-2022.


The committee directed the PSQCA to take notice of on the advertisement of blue band margarine which is sold as butter and used by children and adults on large scale effecting their health. The committee also pointed out other tea whiteners mistaken by milk products and directed to redress the issue.


The committee also took briefing on the ongoing and completed projects in PSQCA (budgetary allocation and utilization of PSDP funds for last two years.


Briefing on the establishment of directorates by PSQCA at Quetta, its current status, and reasons for delay was also given to the committee. It was informed that due to pending recruitment process, the deputy Director for Quetta was not hired.  The Quetta office is monitored by CA south Karachi. However, the in-charge officer was allowed to work as Deputy Director on OPS, the Quetta Directorate is working smoothly as per boar decision


Briefing on all employees working in PSQCA on deputation, regular, contract basis identifying their names, CNIC numbers, grades provinces and also identifying grade wise and province wise vacant posts was also discussed in the meeting.


Later in the meeting, the matter of scholarship given to a lady named Ms Izza Asad Rasul was deferred, as the committee could not come in consensus whether the matter should be discussed as an individual or along with other defaulters of like cases, arguments prevailed however the committee members did not agree, subsequently the meeting was postponed.


The meeting was attended by Senators Shibli Faraz, Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, Fawzia Arshad, Sana Jamali, Engr. Rukhsaa Zuber and Senator Kamran Murtaza. Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology and senior officers of other attached departments were also in attendance.


Meanwhile PTI and PML-N senators traded barbs in a heated exchange on Wednesday, while discussing allegations against the wife of former special assistant to prime minister Dr. Shahbaz Gill.


At the onset of the meeting of the senate standing committee on science and technology, PTI’s Shibli Faraz and PML-N’s Afnan Ullah Khan, who is also the chairman of the standing committee, butted heads on various issues.


First Faraz protested that the chairman did not share the agenda of the day, adding that Khan was not the spokesperson of his party but the head of the committee.


Another point of contention was the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), which the chairman noted had not shifted its headquarters to Islamabad. Faraz replied that the committee had earlier voted to relocate the headquarters.


But officials of the ministry of science and technology added that if a new law had been passed for the transfer then no one had informed them.


Senator Faraz also complained that three names had been forwarded to the cabinet for the head of the PSQCA, but no appointment had been made.


Afnan Ullah Khan added that recently he had powdered milk in his tea and fell ill. To which, the officials of the ministry of science and technology explained that there was a difference between tea whiteners and powdered milk.


Later when the topic of Ms Izza Asad Rasul, Shahbaz Gill’s wife, came up for discussion the exchange between the two senators became more intense.


Rasul has been accused by a university in Islamabad of defaulting on around Rs18.6 million after going abroad for higher education on a scholarship and not completing her programme.


The chairman of the committee suggested that Rasul be called to the meeting or asked to answer questions via video link, adding that she had wasted the university’s money.


An enraged Senator Faraz called the issue a “political one” and said that there were many other cases like that of Rasul’s and a list should be drawn up besides focusing on only one case.


Khan then accused Faraz of defending corruption for the last four years.


“You are the wrong person to head the committee,” Faraz shot back, adding that Khan was only doing politics.


“Who are you? No one knows you,” Khan retorted, claiming that Faraz became a senator by giving money and due to his use of foul language. Faraz then called Khan a “disgusting person”, before storming out.