Amendments in NAB laws on cards: Shibli

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the house in Senate, Syed Shibli Faraz, reiterating his government’s resolve to eradicate corruption, on Tuesday said amendments would be introduced in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws in Upper House of the Parliament to make it more effective and result-oriented.

In a briefing to mediapersons over performance of the Senate during Parliamentary year 2018-19, Shibli Faraz expressed his optimism that the government would manage to develop a consensus among all Parliamentary parties for bringing significant reforms in NAB’s laws to materialize its massive campaign against the corruption.

He said the capacity building of the NAB was also imperative to address the issues pertaining to white collar crimes and regretted that the previous governments had showed reluctance in this regard.

Shibli said the government was holding constant consultation over the issue and would table the final draft after getting the input from the all stakeholders for making necessary amendments in those laws.

Elaborating details about the legislative business in the Upper house during the period, he said the senate made momentous achievements by contributing towards socio-economic well being of the citizens as it was constituted to legislate for the protection of basic rights of the children, migrants, workers and other weaker segment of the society.

The senator said a parliamentary caucus on climate change was established to sensitize every stakeholder about climate changes to collectively defeat those looming environmental changes. Owing to the public concerns, a special committee on circular debts was set up to examine all individual components of the circular debt and the government’s initiatives to reduce it, he added.

He said the house had introduced 28 private and 15 government bills  while 7 ordinances were brought up in the house during the 2018-19 parliamentary year.

During 2017-18, the ratio was comparatively low as some 19 private and 03 government bills were tabled in the senate, Shibli added.

Despite the last year witnessed a democratic transition in the both houses of the Parliament, he said the senate met in 13 senate sessions in the last Parliamentary year (2018-19) with 111 working days and 78 actual sittings, adding that the attendance of the senators had also been improved to 64 per cent.

He said a total of 3,681 starred questions were received by the secretariat, out of which 3301 were admitted, 111 disallowed, 269 lapsed and eight were withdrawn by the members. Additionally, a total of 47 un-starred questions were taken into consideration, out of which 41 were considered valid, three of them rejected and three were taken back by the members, he added.

Some 432 motions were received by the secretariat under rule 218. Over 379 were admitted and 16 were disallowed while 37 lapsed. Eleven were discussed in the house and three were dropped in the senate while four were referred to the committees concerned.

The senate secretariat received some 322 resolutions, out of which, it had allowed 266 for discussion in the house and 29 were set aside. Over 31 resolution had been passed by the senate, Shibli informed.

The senator said that during this period, the senators submitted 155 adjournment motions, out of which 38 were set down, 24 dropped, 111 were declared out of order and debate was held on 14 motions.

The secretariat also received 219 calling attention notices, out of which 134 were put in order and 119 were set down in order of day, he added.

Shibli Faraz also underlined the substantive legislation carried out by the senate on various issues including mainstream of Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, protection of children, women and transgender rights, workers and migrants rights and health care services.

After almost ten years, the special committee on Kashmir Affairs was converted into a parliamentary committee, having representation from the both houses of the Parliament. The committee would positively contribute to the Kashmir cause and highlight the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir at every forum, he added.

To another query about Parliamentary diplomacy, he said the senate of Pakistan had gathered parliamentary leaders from 26 countries in Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting which was held at Gwadar under the leadership of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.