Sindh Assembly passes four government bills during 30th session
ISLAMABAD: The Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed four treasury backed legislative proposals that appeared on the agenda during its 30th session spanning over six sittings from March 6 to March 13, 2017.
Three among the passed bills were new legislations related to Food, Livestock and Right to Information while one bill sought amendments to the existing Local Government Law.
The passed legislative proposals included the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which sought amendments to the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013. The bill proposed to replace the text in Section 27 to remove the condition of making Vote of No Confidence against the directly elected members i.e. Chairman and Vice Chairman of Union Committees and Union Councils which is applicable in the existing law.
The House also passed the Sindh Food Authority Bill, 2016 which aimed at establishing a food authority in the province to ensure provision of safe and hygienic food to the people. Under this bill, making and selling adulterated food or soft drinks is publishable offence with prison term and fines.
Another treasury backed legislative proposal approved by the assembly during aforementioned session was the Sindh Livestock Breeding Bill, 2016 which aimed at the regulation of livestock breeding in the province.
The House also approved much awaited the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Bill, 2016 after five months and 19 days of its introduction. The bill was first introduced by Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro during second sitting of 27th session on September 22, 2016. However, the government withdrew the bill on November 23, 2016 because of its limited scope and drafting issues. The same was redrafted and presented before the House which referred it to the Select Committee. The committee which comprised 10-members belonging to all parliamentary parties proposed several amendments during clause by clause deliberation on the bill and presented it report before the House on March 13, 2017 following which the assembly passed the bill.
The RTI bill aimed at providing easy and cost effective access for citizens to public information under the control of public authorities to promote transparency. Under this legislative proposal, citizens can seek information from public institutions by filing a written information request to the head or designated officer of the respective department. The official of the department will provide the requested information within 15 working days. Refusal by official to admit application, not furnishing information within the provided time, denial to give information or providing incorrect, incomplete or misleading information are punishable offences under this bill.