NA passes three bills as PPP, PML-N bonhomie continues
01 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government rushed to get three more bills passed in the Lower House of parliament on Thursday by agreeing to incorporate the amendments proposed by the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and rejecting the few proposed by its deserter lawmaker Syed Zafar Ali Shah.
The bills included The Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reforms Bill 2013, The Capital University of Science and Technology Bill 2012 and a private member bill, Pakistan Psychological Regulatory Bill 2012, which was moved by MNA Riaz Fatyana. The Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms, Bill 2013 was passed after Zahid Hamid from the PML-N proposed amendments, saying some of the clauses proposed by the government had marred basic purpose of the legislation. The government agreed to include the amendments in the bill.
The PML-N lawmaker said that the ombudsman, through the bill, has been given additional responsibilities and powers to create new posts. SA Iqbal Qadri from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) pointed out that the ombudsman had been given the powers of a civil court. It envisaged that overtime a number of deficiencies and lacunae have been observed which need to be removed and the amendments are necessary to promote good governance and strengthen grievance redressal system and also for standardisation of ombudsman laws in the country.
The Capital University of Science and Technology Bill 2012, which was put off on Wednesday after objections from the PML-N, sailed through the House easily after incorporation of the amendments proposed by the PML-N. Later on, after suspension of rules, the House allowed Riaz Fatyana to table The Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2013. The bill was passed after the approval of nine amendments moved by the PML-N.
Meanwhile, without giving any reasons, the government requested the chair to defer Twenty-Third Amendment Bill, 2012 which aims at increasing the number of minorities' seats in parliament, which was agreed to by the chair. Speaking on a point of order, Khawaja Saad Rafiq of the PML-N observed that accusations against the PML-N of having connections with banned outfits would not help the PPP and PML-N. He condemned the killing of Shias and called it a heinous act.
Responding to a calling attention notice, State Minister for Interior Imtiaz Safdar Warraich told the House that that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was producing 40,000 computerized national identity cards every day and their delivery is ensured within the due date. He admitted that involvement of private agents at various registration centres cannot be ruled out, but assured action against those involved in illegal activities.
Warraich said that NADRA was created to facilitate every Pakistani and is producing documents which are acknowledged within the country and abroad. He said its performance is appreciable as it produces 40,000 cards daily and has the capacity to produce up to 70,000 cards. He also informed the House that at present 54 NADRA centres are working in Hyderabad with 66 in Sukkur and 57 in Karachi, and added that all under-process CNICs will be delivered within due date.