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KARACHI: The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the opposition agreed on Monday to refer to the standing committees concerned two bills that were passed by the Sindh Assembly but returned by the governor for reconsideration.

The National Accoun­tability Ordinance Sindh Repeal Bill 2017 and The Sindh New Captive Power Plants Subsidy Bill 2017 were opposed by the joint opposition led by Khwaja Izharul Hasan of the MQM, Sharyar Khan Mahar of the PML-F and Khurram Sher Zaman of the PTI.

The committees have been asked to send the bills back to the house on Wednesday and Thursday for consideration by the lawmakers.

Earlier, the house adopted the Sindh Removal from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000.

Leaders of the joint opposition alleged that the purpose of the new accountability bill was to protect corrupt ministers and government officials facing NAB cases. They said the bill was also against constitutional provisions.

Speaking on the captive power plants bill, they said its purpose was to provide subsidy from the exchequer to Anwar Majeed and some other groups close to the PPP leadership. They were of the opinion that if the government was serious about providing relief to people and reducing the duration of loadshedding in rural areas of the province, it should take up the matter in the Council of Common Interests and compelled Nepra to look into the matter.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the acco­un­tability ordinance repeal bill had been enforced by dictator Gen Pervez Mush­­arraf, but after the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment it was within the purview of the provincial government to make laws. He claimed that the new accountability law adopted by the provincial assembly was far better and effective to check corruption.

About the new captive power plants bill, the chief minister said it was not aimed at benefiting some particular persons, but providing relief to the people who were facing 18 to 20 hours of loadshedding daily in this sultry weather.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2017