Senate denies tabling two amendment bills about BISP, State Bank

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday denied House members permission to table two bills – The State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and The Benazir Income Support (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

Senator Zeeshan Khan Zada of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sought permission to present The State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022, before the House.

The Senate, rejected the bill with majority vote. Seventeen members opposed the motion whereas 11 lawmakers supported the move.

Likewise, Senator Samina Mumtaz Zehri wanted permission to table The Benazir Income Support (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The bill was rejected by Senate with 17 supported the motion while 22 lawmakers opposed the same.

The Senate rejected the bills moved by the members of the House on bringing amendments to the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956 and Benazir Income Support Act, 2010.

The bill was proposed to shift SBP to Islamabad which was currently in Karachi and therefore, all banks had their head offices in Karachi. The Senator mentioned that if it was shifted to the federal capital then it could help resolve issues of banking and other monetary matters faced by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.

The motion was opposed by the House and was rejected after voting.

Senator Samina Mumtaz Zehri of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) moved the Bill to amend Benazir Income Support (BIS) Act, 2010. She maintained that the BIS programme was conceived for supporting the poor which was not conforming to the spiking up inflation. “If inflation is at 40% then whatever they are giving to the people it is not beneficial for the poor masses,” she added.

After the opposition of the House to her motion, Senator Zehri requested the Chairman to refer the motion to the committee and the committee members should be allowed to discuss on the matter. The Senator also sought response from the Law Ministry on rejecting the motion.

Minister of State for Law, Shahadat Awan opposed the Bill pertaining to SBP Act, 1956. Moreover, he also opposed the Bill on BIS Act amendment that was proposed to link the funding with inflation. He added that it was not advisable as it would impact the budget of the federal government.

“The intentions of the Senator are good but it is not advisable as per article 44 as it was linked to the finances of the government and budget that will add more to its financial budget,” he added.

The Bill was granted ascent to be presented before the house whereas the Chairman Senate put the motion before the house twice but remained indecisive and ordered for voting. Some 17 members voted in favour and 22 opposed the motion and was rejected.

Senator Saleem Mandviwalla of Pakistan People’s Party said that he would suggest the mover of the motion on BIS Act amendment Bill to discuss it with the ministry and a revised Bill would be tabled in the House as her intention was noble and good.