We may have forgotten all about the Ehtram-e-Ramazan (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was approved by Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs last year. But it still holds importance.

Under this bill, those hotel owners who violate the bill will be charged with Rs 25,000.  Those individuals who eat or smoke openly during the Holy month of Ramazan will face 3-month imprisonment along with Rs 500 fine. The TV channels or cinema houses that do not comply with this law will be given a fine of RS 500,000 or more.

Senator Tanveer Khan introduced this amendment bill last year on January 16th and it is still applicable until changed.
In the meeting, Tanveer said that those people who violate this law during Ramazan must face the consequences. It was also suggested that the cinema houses must be closed during Ramazan for three hours in the morning and three hours after Iftar.

Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Pir Amin Ul Hasnat Shah recommended that all cinema houses all over Pakistan must be closed for Ramazan.

Talking about the  Ruet-e-Hilal committee and federal government role in allocating some budget for it Pir Amin said “They (government) believe that the role of the committee is not much as it only functions three to four times throughout the year. They forget that this committee has a major role to play as it announces most important religious events for the entire nation.”

He further informed that when the chairman and committee members travel they are just given an air ticket and 2-star hotel as an accommodation. “They do not get any TA/DA. Meanwhile, they also do not have money to load credit on their cell phones to do office work.”

Shah said that committee members must be reduced to 9 from 26 as “The less the number of members, the easier it will be for the federal government to allocate budget for their salaries.”