National Assembly session from Sept 20

National Assembly to meet on Monday next week, initiating its pre-autumn session.

Zia Khan September 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly has been called to meet on Monday next week, initiating its pre-autumn session.

The lower house of parliament is likely to take up a heavy legislative agenda, including a key bill to replace the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with a new but a relatively toothless anti-corruption commission.

The ruling coalition, sources said, would have to take the bill through the house in the face of a stiff resistance from the opposition parties, who say the legislation is “too lenient … to prevent crimes like corruption”.

The National Assembly standing committee on law and justice will meet ahead of the session to clear the bill on which members from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have already submitted dissent notes.

The PNL-N has been threatening to block the bill but there have been reports that now it will not oppose it after a deal was struck with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Besides, the house would also take up three more bills, one of them aimed at re-establishing the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), an official regulatory arm to check cartelisation of industries.

Another bill, according to secretariat officials, would be legalise the status of several thousands of employees the PPP government had reinstated in various ministries and departments.

These employees had been given jobs during PPP the previous tenures of PPP between 1993 and 1997 but were sacked by the following administration.

The house is also likely take up proposed pieces of legislation on the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Some important adjournment motions, including one submitted by a PML-N lawmaker on the alleged shoe-throwing incident involving President Asif Ali Zardari during his Britain tour, anti-Pakistan statements of British Premier David Cameron in India, maltreatment of a military delegation at a United States airport and increase in power tariff, could provide ample opportunity to the main opposition party to flex its muscles.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2010.


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