Body formed to prepare rules for PM’s question hour

Published April 19, 2019
Prime Minister Imran in the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File
Prime Minister Imran in the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Thursday constituted a subcommittee to prepare recommendations for making an amendment to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly for introducing “prime minister’s question hour.”

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges met with MNA Rana Mohammad Qasim Noon in the chair.

Soon after winning the elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that he would make himself available on a fortnightly basis to MNAs to reply to their questions relating to different matters on the floor of the house.

In September last year, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs moved a bill seeking amendment to rule 69 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007.

The National Assembly later forwarded the bill to the standing committee.

Committee members, including PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah Khan, supported the bill.

“Whoever is and will be the prime minister, it is going to be a good practice if they will be available for answering questions of lawmakers,” Mr Khan said.

But the committee could not reach a final decision to ensure the prime minister’s question hour on the first Wednesday of each session.

The members were told by an official of the National Assembly about the procedure to be involved in getting answers from the prime minister.

The committee decided to form a subcommittee for further deliberations on the issue.

The Senate already has similar rules amended in 2012 but neither former prime minister Nawaz Sharif nor his successor Imran Khan complied with specific rules.

In 2012, the rules of the Senate were amended under which one hour was allocated for the prime minister to answer questions.

Meanwhile, the committee also took up the privilege of MNA Abid Raza in which he accused the police in Gujrat of implicating him in a politically motivated case.

The committee recommended that a report should be submitted to the secretary of the committee before convening the next meeting.

Another privilege of MNA Ali Nawaz Shah regarding non-attending of telephone calls by the secretary local government Sindh, Karachi, and alleged harassment of his voters by the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police Mirpurkhas was taken up.

The committee directed the police and other government officers concerned to hold a meeting with the MNA to remove his concerns.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019

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