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Six bills introduced in NA

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Published: March 15, 2016 06:30 pm

bill-national assembly

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentarians belonging to Peoples Party, JUI, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and and Jamiat Ulmae Islam moved six bills including three constitutional amendments in the National Assembly on Tuesday. The bills were referred to relevant standing committees for further deliberations.

During the first Private Members day of the ongoing session, Muzammil Qureshi and Sajid Ahmad of MQM and Asiya Nasir of JUI-F moved three separate bills seeking amendments in Articles 224(A), 70 and 106 of the Constitution. MQM’s Nikhat Shakeel and PPP’s Belum Hasnain and Shahida Rehmani moved four other bills as well. Moreover, the treasury benches blocked the Higher Education Commission Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2016. The motion to grant leave to introduce the bill was rejected by majority vote in the House.

The bill sponsored by by Muzammil Qureshi and four other MNAs of his party sought to remove what the lawmakers termed as “an anomaly in the Article 224A”. The Article 224A states that a parliamentary committee would decide the nomination for caretaker Prime Minister from amongst four names forwarded by the outgoing Premier and the Opposition Leader after both failed to agree on a single name. It further provides that the committee is to be constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly comprising eight members of the outgoing Assembly or Senate or both within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly. The movers of the bill questioned that how can the committee be constituted of the members of the dissolved Assembly. The amendment bill proposed to constitute the committee five days prior to dissolution of the Assembly. It also suggested excluding the option to choose the members of the said committee from the Senate.

The bill moved by Sajid Ahmad sought to amend Article 77 to disallow the practice of levying new taxes by issuing Statutory Regulatory Orders. According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons, the issuance of a number of SRO every year was usurpation of the authority of the Parliament. The amendment would provide the members an opportunity to hold the government accountable and stop it from levying undue taxes to meet its expenditure, the statement further read.

Asiya Nasir’s bill sought to provide for four additional seats for minorities in four provincial assemblies – one each in the legislatures of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two each in Punjab and Sindh.

Moved by Nikhat Shakeel, a bill sought to amend Representation of Peoples Act 1976. The amendment would enable the persons with disabilities to cast their votes through postal ballot. The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2016 by Belum Hasnain’s suggested adding a new section in PPC 369A to provide for stricter punishments for kidnappers of newborn babies from hospitals. The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2016 was moved by Shahida Akhtar Ali and proposed to try acid-throwing cases in the Anti-Terrorism courts.

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