The Senate today unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming the fundamental right of every child to access quality education, irrespective of their gender, location, or socio-economic status.

The resolution was moved by Sana Jamali in commemoration of the International Literacy Day.

It urged the government to take effective steps to promote literacy for children and youth in general and girls in particular in Pakistan, and also strengthen the non-formal education system on an urgent basis to deliver programs.

The House also called for promoting skills-based and innovative learning models to provide the right to education to out-of-school children, youth with special focus on girls’ education to facilitate life-long learning;

It recommended that comprehensive awareness campaigns should be launched to inform both urban and rural communities about the significance of education through outreach programs, workshops, and community events in collaboration with all stakeholders and partners.

The resolution urged the government to prioritize and substantially increase funding for education and literacy programs and devise mechanisms for ensuring transparency in the allocation and utilization of budgets for education in the country.

Four bills were introduced in the Senate today.

These include; “The State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, “The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, “The Smart Institute of Sciences and Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2023” and “The Right of Access to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2023.”

The Chair referred bills to standing committees concerned.

Responding to a motion moved by Senator Mohsin Aziz regarding elimination of five thousand rupees currency note, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi said the currency note of 5000 denomination was issued in 2006.

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He said at present 905 million currency notes of five thousand rupees are in circulation and their total value is 4.5 trillion rupees.

The Minister said it is the State Bank of Pakistan which decides either to continue or discontinue a currency note.

Speaking at another motion moved by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Caretaker Minister for Power and Petroleum Muhammad Ali said petroleum prices in Pakistan are adjusted as per the international market.

Regarding the electricity prices, he rejected the reports of increasing per unit rate of electricity to 90 rupees. The Minister said the electricity rate is 42 rupees a unit, whereas for protected category it is 12 to 14 rupees per unit.

About gas prices, Muhammad Ali said the government imports LNG at a rate of 3600 rupees per unit, whereas under the protected category LNG is being provided to 57 percent of the consumers to maximum of 250 rupees per unit.

He said the government will have to bear a loss of four hundred billion rupees per year if it does not revise gas price.

Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti has assured the House to evolve a mechanism in consultation with the people of Chaman to address their concerns and to control losses to the state of Pakistan.

Responding to points of order raised by various members in the Senate, he said the government wants to resolve this issue through dialogue.

He, however, said the government intends to regulate the Chaman border, along the frontier with Afghanistan on the patterns of Wagha and other border crossings.

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Later, the House was adjourned to meet tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.