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The Senate was informed on Friday that the government has adopted a national strategy towards strengthening of disaster early warning systems.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House during question hour that the approach includes expansion of telemetric network and monitoring as well as database for timely floods broadcasts. He said a PC-I worth 19081 million rupees has been sent to planning commission for approval to strengthen the forecasting capabilities of Pakistan Meteorological Department.

To a question, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs told the House that Japanese government has approved a grant to provide CCTV with face recognition system for four airports. He said given security situation in the country, the system will initially be installed in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Multan and later it will be replicated at other airports.

The Minister said that Pakistan International Airline has 35 aircraft in its fleet and it is in the process of acquiring more fuel efficient aircraft to replace the aged fleet. He said steps are being taken by the government to control the losses of the national flag carrier. He said the PIA is exploring various revenue enhancing strategies by adding new destinations on its network. He said that cargo business of the airline is also being improved as part of efforts to revive the airline.

Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani expressed serious concerns over the absence of the Ministers from the House and non-receipt of answers.

He said he is issuing a final notice to all the Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries that he will act according to the law if in future replies were not received or information was withheld from the Parliament.

The Chairman said that the Upper House has always tried to maintain harmony between the federation and the provinces.

 Federal Minister for Law Zahid Hamid clarified that the government accords full respect to the House and has no intention to undermine its constitutional status. He said matters relating to the presence of Ministers and replies could be sorted out by sitting together.

Later, the chair adjourned the session sine die.


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