Parliamentary report card

In first 100 days, parliament was unable to pass a single bill except Finance Supplementary Bill 2018

Editorial March 18, 2019

When a new government is voted to power it has basically been given a mandate by the people to govern in a proper and democratic manner to meet their expectations.

However, it seems that ever since the new government has come in parliamentary affairs have been moving rather sluggishly. In the first 100 days, parliament was unable to pass a single bill except the Finance Supplementary Bill 2018, which does require Senate and committee approval.

Most of the time scenes of pandemonium and chaos were witnessed as opposition and treasury benches were locked in mortal combat with salvos of blame and counter blame being exchanged.

Much worse was the fact that Speaker Asad Qaiser failed to make any headway in forming committees as there was much delay and bickering over who would assume charge of the Public Accounts Committee, a position usually held by the Leader of the Opposition which in this case was Shehbaz Sharif of PML-N

The only achievement made by the PTI govt was the merger of Fata, the plan to set up a south Punjab province and an amicable settlement with disgruntled Baloch leaders. The Senate has also not fared well in its working and during the past year

Prime Minister Imran Khan has attended one session for 49 minutes only. The report card on the working of the senate is also average to say the least, as a few bills were passed by the house this year as compared to the previous year. There was one notable achievement though with regard to punctuality.

The Senate proceedings started only with a few minutes’ delay, with a maximum delay spanning13 minutes. Both houses of parliament must improve their working in the next few years or else the people’s mandate would be in vain.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2019.

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