ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament on Monday passed four resolutions unanimously while one resolution was dropped due to absence of the mover. The resolutions stated that women should be given adequate representation in the Council of Islamic Ideology and the relevant law/rules should be amended for this purpose. If required, the government should include the subject of climate change in the curriculum from Class One to Metric. The government should bring changes in National Accountability Laws to discover moveable and immoveable Benami properties/companies and announce a handsome reward or percentage of amount for those who identify and inform the NAB about detail of such properties/companies. Finally, agricultural loans presently outstanding against the farmers in Balochistan be waived off in view of the deteriorating condition of agriculture sector due to law and order situation, low water level and excessive load-shedding.
The resolutions were moved by Sehar Kamran, Samina Abid, Mohammad Azam Khan Swati and Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar in the House. Sehar Kamran said women constituted over 50 per cent of the total population. She quoted Article 25, 29 and 37 of the constitution for giving more representation to women in the Council of Islamic Ideology.
Usman Kakar was of the view that the government should waive off old agriculture loans since 1985 as 80 per cent of the agriculture was destroyed besides over 10,000 orchids had been dried up. He said even a dictator had written off loans in the past. Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani directed to issue contempt notice to Deputy Secretary Council Ministry of Finance and Revenue for late reply over ministerial response on the point of public importance regarding the unequal distribution of funds in PSDP for all the provinces and non-releasing of the funds allocated in PSDP for small provinces.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid told the house that the matter pertained to the Planning Commission. State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Monday apprised the Senate that the Right to Information Bill 2016 had already been approved by the Cabinet and would be introduced in the coming National Assembly session.
Opposing the private member bill ‘The Right to Information Bill, 2016’ moved by Kamil Ali Agha and others, she said impression was being given that the government was not doing work on the bill. “On the direction of the prime minister the government has completed a rigorous exercise of compiling the legislation. Extensive parliamentary, ministerial and legal review has been completed. The bill is also reviewed by CCLC and approved by the cabinet and a comprehensive bill will be laid in the parliament in the coming National Assembly session,” she said.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the draft of the bill has been prepared with the spirit of bringing improvement in access to information. The minister said the government has been working on the bill for the last 11 months adding that rigorous consultations were made with all the stakeholders.
Marriyum said that Prime Minister had constituted a five member committee consisting of parliamentarians to review the proposed bill. She said the bill was thoroughly reviewed, compared with other countries and provinces and then sent to Law Division. The minister said the draft of the bill has been prepared on the basis of the proposals given by the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting. She said the recommendations given by Senate would also be incorporated in the bill to make it flawless.
Chairman Senate referred the bill to the select committee of the Senate for further deliberation as the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting had already passed it. Earlier, moving the bill in the house, Kamil Ali Agha said the provinces had already passed such bills. He said the Senate committee had already passed the bill. Farhatullah Babar was of the view that access to information had become a fundamental right of the citizen under Article 19A. All the four provinces have already implemented right to information bills, he added.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch Monday informed the Senate that the government has allocated Rs 100 billion for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). Winding up discussion on a motion moved by Senator Kalsoom Perveen that the house may discuss the steps taken by the government for rehabilitation of the IDPs, the minister said IDPs of Bajaur, Orakzai, Mohmand and Khyber have already been sent back to their native areas.
The process of sending back all IDPs of South and North Waziristan Agencies would be completed by December, he added. The minister said the IDPs were sent back after purging the areas completely of the militants. They were sent back after restoring basic facilities like water, education, health and infrastructure etc, he said.
Source: Daily Times
Byline: Staff Report
November 22, 2016