ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges on Wednesday rejected an amendment in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 to limit the number of supplementary questions from three to one.

The Senate body met under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo here at the Old Pips Hall, Parliament Lodges on Wednesday. The committee discussed the proposed amendment in Rule 57 in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 introduced by Senator Behramand Khan Tangi during Senate session. The amendment proposed to decrease the number of supplementary questions from three to one. Senator Behramand Khan Tangi said that the chairman shall disallow any admissibility of supplementary question. The ministry did not support the amendment as it might infringe the right enshrined in article 66(1) of the Constitution for freedom of speech to the members in the Parliament. The committee members also opposed the amendment. Senator Raza Rabbani said that by supporting this amendment he would be in contradiction to what he had earlier taken up as chairman of the Senate. Consequently, the proposed amendment was withdrawn by Senator Behramand Khan Tangi.

Privilege motion moved by Senator Manzoor Ahmad Kakar against the Acting Governor of State Bank of Pakistan was also taken up. The mover briefed the committee about his concerns and complaint against the Acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan. He was of the view that the members of the Parliament calls the government functionaries related to public issues but every time he and some other members of the Senate and National Assembly called the Acting Governor SBP, he never responded and never called back which amounts to obstruction of the parliamentary duties of the members. The Acting Governor made unconditional apology on negligence on his part and said that it was due to inadvertence and the State Bank does not intent to decline the services to the parliamentarians. He said that due to hectic engagements regarding financial matters in recent past he could not respond the calls made on his cell number. Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar accepted the apology and withdrew the Privilege Motion against the Acting Governner State Bank of Pakistan.

Committee also discusses privilege motion against SBP Acting Governor

The proposed amendment in Rule 9 and insertion of Forth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, introduced by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani during the Senate session was also taken up for consideration. Senator Raza Rabbani emphasised that the chairman and deputy chairman shall be elected in accordance with provision of the Fourth Schedule by the members of the Senate. He said that it is an internal business of the House and cannot be conducted by an outside entity. Senator Raza Rabbani stressed that leasing out the elections to the Election Commission will not be acceptable, crippling the sanctity of the sovereignty of Parliament.

The ministry maintained that the power to conduct elections may not be vested in the Senate Secretariat being not an independent entity. The matter was deferred for further deliberation on the matter, as the Federal Minister for Law and Justice requested for deferment as he wanted to personally respond the instant rule amendment.

The meeting was attended by Senators Mian Raza Rabbani, Irfan-ul-Haque, Manzoor Ahmed Khan Kakar, Prof Sajid Mir and Behramand Khan Tangi. Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan along with other senior officials of the concerned departments were also in attendance.