Punjab Assembly passes 16 bills

Differences between members of ruling SAD and its alliance BJP on Friday came to fore in Punjab Assembly on the ‘motor vehicle taxation’ bill, even as the House passed 16 bills amid empty opposition benches.

The Assembly passed 16 bills, including Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Bill, DAV University Bill and Desh Bhagat University Bill, in around two hours of discussions. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed concern over Punjab’s youths getting trapped by illegal travel agents and landing in jails abroad.

With the introduction of the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Bill, he said, “The authorities can anytime verify the credentials and registration of travel agents and any agent found illegal will be penalised for three to seven years of imprisonment.”

In the face of the opposition to the certain provisions in Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation (amendment) Bill 2012, the Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal withdrew it after leader of the House and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal urged him to do so.

Cong boycotts House

An apology by Punjab chief minister could not end the logjam in the Assembly as Congress MLAs, enraged over alleged derogatory remarks by a state minister, continued to boycott the House proceedings on the last day of the winter session.

After the Question Hour ended, Badal apologised for Wednesday’s incident in the House involving cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

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