ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the House that the federal government has formed a task force under the Sindh Governor to address water scarcity and other important issues in Karachi.
Responding to a Calling Attention Notice, he said the federal government wants to resolve this issue with the cooperation of the provincial government.
Ali Muhammad Khan said water supply is a devolved subject under the 18th amendment; however, the federal government is very much concerned over it and will extend full support to the provinces for it.
He said the provincial government should take action against the tanker mafia in Karachi. He said water distribution system in Karachi also needs to be improved.
The Minister of State said the federal government is also implementing a project of two billion rupees for clean drinking water in Islamabad.
Taking floor on the subject, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said water is a national issue and a national approach should be adopted to address it.
He said the federal government and the provincial governments need to collaborate and take steps to ensure that every citizen of the country has clean drinking water.
Speaking on the water issue, Minister for Planning Khurso Bakhtiar said the government will allocate ten percent of Public Sector Development Program for water projects.
He said the government is formulating policies for provision of water in urban centers and desalination of the sea water.
The Minister said dams need to be constructed in FATA and Balochistan to meet water requirement in those areas. He said the PTI government rationalized water schemes announced by the PML-N government for Islamabad in view of the availability of funds.
Earlier, PML-N leader said the PML-N government had formed a water policy, and also allocated funds for K-4 project in Karachi and several schemes for Islamabad.
He said the incumbent government dropped several water schemes, which had been allocated by the PML-N for Islamabad.
PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah said Sindh is not being provided its share of water. He said Karachi needs 1200 Cusec water, which is not being provided.
Meanwhile, at the outset of the session, members of the National Assembly offered Fateha for former MNA Sardar Shuja Muhammad Baloch, who died recently. Minister for Religious Affairs Nurul Haq Qadri led the prayers.
The opposition members staged walk-out from the House when PML-N leader Rana Tanveer Hussain raised point that Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif was not produced in the House so far by the National Accountability Bureau despite issuance of Production Order by the Speaker.
Taking floor of the House, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the opposition should behave responsibly because boycott of the National Assembly session is no service to democracy.
He said the opposition should present its stance in parliament and also take part in the proceedings, respecting the democratic norms.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Leader of the Opposition had attended the last session, and the government has no objection to his presence in the assembly. He said the Speaker had issued his Production Order.
The opposition, however, called off its protest and returned to the session when the Leader of the Opposition arrived in the House.
Earlier, the National Assembly began its session at the parliament house in Islamabad this afternoon with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair.
The newly elected members of the National Assembly took oath as members of the House.
The Speaker administered the oath.