Senate: (Senate passes one bill, takes up two CANs)


ISLAMABAD: Senate passed the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and took up two calling attention notice (CANs) during the last sitting of 120th session on Tuesday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.

The House witnessed low attendance as only eleven (10%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 28 (27%) at the time of adjournment. Two CANs were taken up during the sitting. First CAN was regarding increase in public indebtedness to foreigners due to recent issuance of Euro Bonds at interest rate of 8.5% per annum while the other was related to removal of fifty transformers from several villages of Thatta.

The House had a debate on an adjournment motion (AM) regarding NFC distribution formula and report on second Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award (January-June, 2014). Five lawmakers – two from PkMAP and one each from PPPP, PTI and BNP-M – took part in discussion for 24 minutes while Minister for Finance concluded the debate during his 15 minutes speech.

Another AM regarding reported change in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route was discussed by eleven lawmakers – three from PPPP, two from PkMAP, ANP and PTI, and one each from BNP-M and JUI-F – for 43 minutes. Minister for Planning, Development and Reform spoke on this issue for 32 minutes but the Opposition lawmakers termed his clarification unsatisfactory and walked out of the House for four minutes. Two other AMs on failure of OGRA in fixing sale price of LNG and production of spurious and substandard medicines were not discussed in the House.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, during his 27 minutes speech, gave a policy statement in the House about efforts of the government to expatriate dead bodies of Pakistani pilgrims from Saudi Arabia after Mina incident. However, the Opposition lawmakers did not get satisfied over his statement and walked out of the house for three minutes. Seven other lawmakers – PTI, ANP (2 each), PkMAP, PPPP (one each) and an Independent lawmaker– also spoke about Mina tragedy for 15 minutes.