The Senate resumed its session in Islamabad with Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari in the chair.
Minister of State for National Health Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar told the House during question hour that now Pakistani nationals of foreign MBBS degree are required to take exam in three stages and twice a year to get the equivalence certificate of their degrees unlike a single paper prior to 2011.
She said the step has been taken to improve the existing system of examination over a period of time. She said Pakistan Medical and Dental Council is considering conducting this exam thrice a year. She said out of 1600 appearing in exam this year only 700 passed.
To a question, she said there are no clinical laboratories in the country approved by WHO. She said from next year only those students will get licenses who pass the exam of PMDC.
Saira Afzal Tarar said PMDC will be reorganized keeping in view the latest requirements in the field of medicine. She said there are a number of private colleges which lack even the basic infrastructure. A committee comprising doctors of all four provinces will submit its report on the problems of PMDC by end of this month.
Mian Raza Rabbani said that health and education subjects have been devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment and their existence at the federal level is unconstitutional. On the suggestion of the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, the chair referred the matter to the special committee for devolution process.
To a question, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Khan on behalf of Minister for Communications said that a proposal is under consideration to construct a road of 4.5 kilometers to link new Benazir Bhutto International Airport with Rawalpindi and Islamabad. She said these does not exist any road facility which connects the new airport with twin cities as yet.
Speaking on a point of order Raza Rabbani said clause 3 of Article 154 clearly states that meeting of Council of Common Interests is to be held in 90 days but over one hundred and thirty five days have passed since the last meeting was held on July 31, 2013. He said this delay contravenes the constitution. Leader of the House Raja Zafar ul Haq said agenda for the meeting is being prepared and the meeting of CCI will be held soon.
Opposition members staged a token walk out in protest over the delay in CCI meeting.
Speaking in the House the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured there will be no increase in domestic gas tariff from early next year.
He said this increase will be applicable only to business and other sectors as they are using the cheap gas and earning millions of rupees.
Responding to a call attention notice, Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman said that government is making efforts to make police force more transparent and accountable. The House will now meet again on Monday at 3:30 pm.