Unfinished business: NA to face more than a dozen bills today

House picking up habit of leaving items on agenda unaddressed.


Our Correspondent October 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


Several bills await the National Assembly once it resumes its 46th session on Monday. With 79 per cent of the items on its agenda still pending, it seems the house is adopting a habit of leaving issues unaddressed.


The session was adjourned shortly after starting on Friday without discussing the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan Bill 2012, and the Pakistan Academy of Letters Bill 2012. A notice seeking an explanation from the petroleum minister over the increase in fuel prices was also ignored. Even during question hour, the house ignored 19 ‘starred’ questions.

According to the agenda for the NA session on Monday, Law Minister Farooq H Naek is scheduled to introduce a bill to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 in favour of a new accountability law: the National Accountability Commission Bill, 2012. The bill has languished since April 2009 due to differences with the opposition.

The Gwadar Port Authority Bill, 2012, which first appeared on the NA agenda on September 10, will also be put forward by the government during the ongoing session. Similarly, the National Commission for Human Development (Amendment) Bill 2009 is also likely to be passed. The opposition, too, seeks to table certain resolutions. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had earlier announced it will introduce a resolution against the weekly petrol prices review mechanism. The party also announced it will table a resolution demanding a national commission on Balochistan.

“We will table the resolutions on Monday (today),” said a PML-N official here on Sunday. He added opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has held a meeting to discuss the contents of the resolution.

In the 46th session, which is likely to conclude on October 24, the government is aspiring to take up legislative business unaddressed during the earlier session. This includes the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2012, the Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill 2010 (Ordinance No XXV of 2009), and the Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) Bill 2012, in addition to the aforementioned bills.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s Dr Donia Aziz will also table the Charter of Child Rights Bill 2009, since it was not taken up in the last session.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had sought permission for an in-camera session to brief lawmakers about the country’s law and order situation. He was told the decision required a recommendation from the prime minister. However, an NA secretariat official said no such request has been received as yet.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.

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