NA extends two ordinances for another 120 days

Published October 22, 2021
Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri chairs the session of the National Assembly on Thursday. — Photo via NA of Pakistan Twitter
Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri chairs the session of the National Assembly on Thursday. — Photo via NA of Pakistan Twitter

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday extended two ordinances for another 120 days and referred 15 bills to the joint sitting of parliament for discussion and passage.

The ordinances which have been extended include the Pakistan Civil Aviation Ordinance, 2021, and The Pakistan Airports Authority Ordinance, 2021.

The bills referred to the joint sitting of the parliament were passed by the National Assembly, but not approved by the Senate within the stipulated 90 days.

These included the Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Amendment in Section 4); the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Amendment in Section 7); the National College of Arts Institute Bill, 2021; the National College of Arts Institute Bill, 2021; the Pakistan Academy of Letters (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Corporate Restructuring Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Financial Institutions Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021; SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Loans for Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Purposes (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Refers 15 bills to joint session of parliament

Three ordinances were also laid in the House. These included the Public-Private Partnership Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (No. XVIII of 2021), the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (XXII of 2021) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (XIX of 2021).

Soon after the recitation of verses from the holy Quran, the House offered fateha for the departed soul of the mother of MNA Tahir Iqbal and soon after the quorum was pointed out.

Quorum bells were rung but to no avail and the proceedings had to be suspended by the chair.

The lack of quorum also helped the Opposition to block the passage of a bill. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan had sought leave of the House for taking up Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for consideration amid Opposition’s objection over the proposed exemption from PPRA rules for emergency procurements due to Covid-19.

After a brief argument between opposition lawmakers and Mr Awan, when the latter sought to move the bill, the lack of quorum was pointed out and the House had to be adjourned to meet again on Friday at 11am.

Syed Naveed Qamar of PPP said a lot was heard about procurements of billions of rupees during the pandemic without following the rules and stressed that it should not be allowed in future.

Shazia Marri kept on insisting that the House should be informed about salient features of the bill. Mr Awan said the bill was meant to allow emergency procurements during the pandemic and pointed out that the bill had already been discussed in the committee.

The house was in the process of approving the bill when PML-N lawmaker Rao Ajmal Khan pointed out the lack of quorum and the house had to be adjourned.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2021

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