ISLAMABAD - National Assembly on Wednesday approved constitution of 34 house committees, including the standing committees for various ministries proposed by PML-N government, with some reservations from opposition benches for not having proper share in these parliamentary bodies.
The house also saw some legal hitches pointed out by a member of opposition benches before adopting a motion regarding National Assembly standing committees, which forced treasury benches to condone the period under which it could not announce the parliamentary bodies.
Taking on the floor of the house, Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rashid quoting rule 200 of the constitution drew the attention of the chair to condone the specific period as otherwise it would be considered illegal. PML-N’s senior legislator Rana Tanvir realising the fact uttered the motion to give legal cover about the delay in electing the NA committees. He also assured to remove deficiencies and concerns raised by the opposition party members for not having proper share in the formation of bodies.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Ahmed Sheikh moved the motion that was adopted unanimously. The elected committees include Public Accounts Committee and Committees on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, House and Library, Government Assurances, Finance Committee of National Assembly, Special Committee onKashmirand the Standing Committees on various ministries.
The house also authorised the Speaker National Assembly to include any member in these committees and make such changes in the composition of these committees, as and when he may deem fit. Earlier, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) legislator Sher Akbar strongly raised the concern that his party was not given proper share in the formation of the committees.
The PML-N government also informed the house that initial draft for national security policy has been prepared which would be comprising two parts include counter-terrorism and national security.
In response to the call-attention notice raised by legislator Munaza Hassan, Minister for Interior Ch Nisar Ali Khan said that the terrorist attack in Bhara Kahu (Islamabad) was plotted inNorth Waziristan. He said that five suspects have been arrested while the remaining three would also be arrested soon.
Sharing details, Nisar said that one of the arrested persons is local while one is Afghan and the others belong to FATA. He further informed that the suicide bomber wanted to target big Eid congregation but failed due to security measures. The minister also clarified that he in his speech aboutJinnah Avenueincident had not mentioned about involvement of international conspiracy in the incident.
Earlier, Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Muhammad Asif in a written reply said that Wapda has started work on several dams in the country to store rain and flood water.
The minister, during question-hour, shared detail about future projects including Kalabagh Dam (KBD), Munda Dam, Tank Zam Dam, Akhori Dam, and Shyok Dam.
About KBD (located atIndusriver 210 KM down stream Tarbela), he shared that reasons for delay was lack of national consensus over it. He said construction would be initiated after national consensus on the project is developed. He further informed that the live water storage capacity is 6.1 millions acres feet (MAF).
State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali told the house that with the addition of 1700MW in the national grid system, electricity loadshedding has been decreased from6to 8 hours. “Before the 5 years term of incumbent sitting government, the loadshedding would be completely handled,” he said while responding to a question during the question-hour.
The minister said that a total of 1297 MW of electricity generated through alternative energy (AE) and solar will also be achieved before closing of financial year 2013-14. He said that equitable loadshedding is being conducted in the country as per orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have been paid the accumulated circular debt in a transparent way.
The government is also reviewing the option to privatise a few Discos and it will soon present strategy in this regard. He said that there is no proposal under consideration to take administrative control of KESC. He came down hard on the PPP government, saying that it had written off Rs 31 billion outstanding amount of Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC). Moreover Rs 21 billion outstanding amount of Sindh has been written off. He said 54.4MW of Zorlu Enerji has been added in the system from July 25, 2013. Sixteen more projects of 1230 MW capacity are under way.
Earlier, JUI-F MNA Ameer Zaman on a point of order raised serious concern over the postponement of NA-25 (Tank) bye-election. Demanding solid reasons for the postponement of election, JUI-F lawmaker also staged a walkout from the proceeding of the house.
Amir Zaman from PTI on a point of order raising the same issue said that the election should not be postponed at this area.
MQM’s lawmaker Abdul Rashid Godil registered his protest against law enforcement agencies for not taking proper and immediate action as seven armed men remained near his house for over one hour. “If I was killed, the FIR should be registered against law enforcement agencies for their negligence,” Godil added.