The much-delayed new accountability law will finally be presented before the National Assembly by the end of this month as treasury members said they will try to reconcile opposition’s demands over key matter by that time.
The announcement was made by chairperson of the National Assembly’s standing committee on law, justice and parliamentary affairs Begum Nasim Akhter Chaudhry after presiding over the panel’s special session convened for discussing PML-N’s dissenting notes against the bill.
The deadlock persisted for the past several months on opposition’s demands for not granting indemnity to any holder of public office no matter when corruption was committed. The government has proposed January 1, 1985, a cutoff date in this regard.
The PML-N says that retrospective accountability should not be time-barred, to avoid any perception of grant of selective amnesty to any government.
The Holders of Public Offices (Accountability) bill has been withheld since April 2009.
The committee has so far failed to persuade the PML-N to withdraw any of its objections.
“We want (to develop a) consensuses over the bill prior to its presentation before the house. Therefore, we will make another effort in the next and final meeting of the committee,” said the chairperson.
PML-N’s Zahid Hamid suggested that the bill could be submitted before the house and “we will give additional dissenting notes on final draft of the bill”.
The PML-N believes that the bill contains a number of objectionable provisions which are “patently inconsistent with basic objectives of replacing the existing accountability system”.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2011.