ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Wednesday that the government has designed a comprehensive plan to upgrade airports throughout the country.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad replying to a question said that Rs.3 bn have been allocated for upgrade of Peshawar airport, and already one-third work has been completed. He said work will be expedited for renovation of Quetta airport.
Sale of PIA aircraft in violation of rules
The minister replying to another question by Saleem Mandviwalla over the sale of PIA Airbus A-310 to a German firm in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, said that four 92-model airplanes were purchased in 1993 but were not in position to run even after 25 years.
He said the tenders were floated in the newspapers within the country but no bid was received. He said a German firm requested for the plane but its use is yet not clear. He said a committee is probing the matter and will submit its report after seven days.
Textile machinery import made duty-free
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan informed the House that the government has announced a special package for textile sector to boost the industry in the country.
The commerce minister said that import of textile machinery have been made duty free, and sales tax on five export-oriented sectors including textile, leather, sports goods, surgical goods and carpets has been made part of zero rated tax regime in the current budget.
He informed that 2747 companies including 65 textile companies were registered during first half of the current fiscal year, while eight companies including two textile companies were delisted last year.
Availability of life-saving drugs
The commerce minister also responded to a notice moved by Tahir Mashhadi regarding the non-availability of life saving drugs like Florinef tablet, Hydrocartizan and tuberculosis medicines in the country particularly in Islamabad.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Florinef tablet is not registered in Pakistan and no firm has applied for its registration so far, while there is no shortage of Hydrocartizan injections which are easily available.
He said TB medicines are available in ample amount in the centres of the National TB Control Programme nationwide. He said a new TB control medicine for children has been introduced and the first consignment has reached the country while the second will reach next month.