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Winding up debate on an adjournment motion about Nandipur power project in the Senate on Wednesday, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said the government has no objection over the investigation into Nandipur power project.

The Minister rejected speculation about the expenditures and the tariff of the project. He said PC-1 of Nandipur project costing 59 billion rupees was approved by the ECNEC in June 2013.    

Other movers of the adjournment motion voiced their concerns of the non-production of power from the Nandipur saying this is inflicting heavy loss to the national exchequer.

Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi says efforts are underway to enhance export of skilled manpower to foreign countries particularly in the Gulf States.

He told the Senate during question hour on Wednesday that the National Vocational and Technical Education Commission and TEVTA are running different technical training programmes in cooperation with the non-governmental organizations to produce the required skilled force.

Minister of State for Education Baligh-ur-Rehman told the House that the government has finalized a technical and vocational training policy to enhance skilled manpower.

Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar told the House that the Prime Minister's Polio monitoring cell has been further strengthened to achieve the goal of complete polio eradication.

Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan told the House that sixty three new crop varieties were developed by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council over the last five years.

Replying to a call attention moved by Sehar Kamran about growing India-US defence relations, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said we should not be worried over the defence mechanisms of India with the Washington.

He said there is a need for balance in the strategic and defence capabilities of both Pakistan and India and this fact has also been accepted by the United States.

The Adviser said the country is also exploring other markets to meet its defence needs including purchase of helicopters from Russia. He said Pakistan is alive to the issue of arms buildup by India.

Speaking on a motion moved by Farhatullah Babar, Minister of State for Religious Affairs, Pir Amin ul Hasnat assured the House that Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will be given the constitutional and legal cover.

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani asked the government to present draft legislation on Ruet-e-Hilal Committee before the National Assembly or the Senate by the 15th of next month.

Chairman Senate regretted that the private airlines are exploiting the situation caused by the standoff between PIA and PALPA by charging extra fare. He said the Competition Commission of Pakistan should look into the matter.        

In his remarks Leader of the House, Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq said that efforts are being made that passengers do not suffer due to the crisis. He said the CCP has contacted the private airlines administration and conveyed to them that action will be taken in case of overcharging.

The House admitted for discussion an adjournment motion on the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

The motion was moved by Senator Taj Haider and others.

The House will now meet on Thursday morning at ten.


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