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NA transacts unprecedented legislative agenda during third year

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Published: June 7, 2016 02:56 pm

National Assembly- Pari

ISLAMABAD, June 7, 2016: The National Assembly transacted unprecedented legislative business during third year as the National Assembly passed 59 bills while it had passed only 11 and 16 bills during its first and second years. The previous National Assembly, too, could not pass these many bills in a year. However, like preceding years, the present Assembly did not pass any private member bill this year too.

A total of 144 bills appeared on ‘Orders of the Day’, including 70 Private Member bills. The House rejected seven Private Member Bills while 15 Government and 44 Private Member Bills are still pending before the House. The introduction of five Private Member Bills was deferred on request of the sponsors. Moreover, 13 bills were dropped due to the absence of relevant lawmakers while one was not taken up by the House.

The treasury’s legislation predominantly focused on economy while bills were also passed on subjects related to electoral reforms, security, child rights, energy, education, health, patents, minimum wages and prevention of electronic crimes. The government bills concerning judiciary, agriculture, public private partnership, benami transactions, explosive substances, new regulations for companies and salaries of members of Election Commission were pending before the House by the end of reporting year.

Among 44 Private Member Bills introduced in the House, 13 were sponsored by MQM, 10 by PTI, seven by JUI-F, six by PML-N, four by PPPP and one by JI while one bill was jointly moved by lawmakers belonging to PML-N, PTI and JUI-F. Moreover, 17 of these bills were moved by female lawmakers, eight by male legislators and the remaining were moved jointly. The private legislation addressed the issues like safeguarding the rights of weaker sections of society, including women, minorities, special persons and children, speedy provision of justice, accountability and terrorism.

Economy: As many as 59 bills passed by the House were related to the economic matters. Besides money bills, these included legislation on anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, credit bureaus, special economic zones, anti-money laundering measures, corporate restructuring companies, deposit protection corporation, foreign exchange regulations, future markets, secured transactions, recovery of finances, equity participation fund, banks restructuring, banking courts and stock exchanges. The amendments were approved in the statutes of State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Moreover, the House also passed bills to convert Pakistan International Airlines Corporation and State Life Insurance Corporation into companies.

Education: A single bill was passed by the House to amend the criteria for appointment of Rector National University of Sciences and Technology.

Energy: Through amendments in the Criminal Laws, strict penalties were introduced for theft of electricity while another bill provided for establishment of the institutions and enunciation of mechanisms for conservation and efficient use of energy.

Elections: The House passed eight bills, including a Constitutional Amendment, on matters related to the conduct of elections. The laws provided legal framework for the local government elections in Islamabad and cantonment areas. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Amendment deals with the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Members of the Election Commission and empowers the Election Commission to prepare electoral rolls and delimit constituencies for local governments.

Health: Two separate bills were passed to provide for the establishment of National University of Medical Sciences and Pakistan Health Research Council. Another bill provided for reconstitution of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

Judiciary: The House passed five bills relating to the Islamabad Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal, Federal Judicial Academy and error-free publication of Pakistani laws.

Security: The House passed four bills concerning security matters. The Pakistan Army Act 1952 was amended to ensure protection of Army Courts’ officials by providing indemnity against arrest or detention of suspected terrorists. The amendments in Criminal laws provided for stricter penalties against religious hate-speech, forced marriages and lynching. The amendments also tighten the noose around the police officers disobeying official orders in relation with public meetings and rallies. Moreover, the legal framework for registration of illegal immigrants was amended while a bill also provided for merger of the National Alien Registration Authority with National Database and Registration Authority.

Child Rights: In the wake of incidents of child abuse, the House passed a bill criminalizing child pornography, seducing children and meting out cruel treatment to them.

Labour: The House approved a bill providing for minimum wage for unskilled labour.

Institutional Reforms: The amendments were introduced in the Civil Servants Act 1973 to provide legal cover to absorption and adjustment of civil servants belonging to ministries and departments devolved to provinces under Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Act 1991 was also amended to reconstitute its board in the backdrop of devolution.

Posted by on June 7, 2016. Filed under Latest Post,Legislation National Assembly,National Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry