The federation and Punjab, apart from cooperating each other to reduce the loss of toxic drugs, are giving statements against each other. In the latest move, Punjab has rebuffed the statement of the Prime Minister that Punjab was a hurdle in formation of Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA).

Media reports quoted PML-N’s senior leader, Ishaq Dar saying, “It’s not true that Punjab government is an obstacle to setting up the Authority. The reason behind delay in this Authority is the federal government’s unconstitutional control on Lahore’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital.”

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, on the other day, said Punjab was a hurdle in creation of new regulatory authority. He claimed, “The Punjab government is an obstacle in establishing a drug regulatory authority (DRA), as the three provinces (Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) have agreed to the establishment of a DRA.”

In the meantime, Punjab rejected the claim terming it counterfactual. The statement of the premier is contrary to facts, a spokesperson of the provincial government quoted.

The spokesperson clarified that the factual position was that after passage of the 18th amendment the federal government vides its notification No. 4-9/2011- Min dated 29th June 2011, assigned the functions pertaining to administration of Drug Act 1976 to the proposed Drug Regulatory Agency (DRA).

However, the authoritative body was not existed at the time of the issuance of this notification. He was of the opinion that the regulatory authority could only be created after consensus of all the federal units. It was the job of the federation to buildup harmony among the provinces rather than Punjab, he assumed.

“The provincial government, in order to avoid any breach in operations, vide letter No.SO(DC)6-48/2008 dated 4th July and 5th August 2011 asked the federal government to lawfully continue to perform its function under the existing Drug Act 1976 till the said law is adopted by Provincial Assembly of Punjab in terms of article 270-AA(6) of the Constitution,” he added.

In his view, it was obvious from the above stated facts that the provincial government was not posing any obstacle in the formation of the DRA.