Amid Opposition boycott, NA passes 21 bills

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday passed as many as 21 bills, including those relating to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, electoral reforms, and the State Bank of Pakistan banking services amid a boycott by the opposition.

The government also introduced three bills relevant to the Port Qasim Authority, Pakistan Nursing Council, and Pakistan Allied Health Professionals Council.

The Lower House of the Parliament passed the following 21 bills: “The Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020”, “The Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Gwadar Port Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2020”, “The Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Bill, 2020”, “The National Institute of Health (Reorganisation) Bill, 2020”, “The Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020”, “The Covid-19 (Prevention of Hoarding) Bill, 2020”, “The SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020”, “The Corporate Restructuring Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Pakistan Academy of Letters (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020”, and “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021”.

The opposition members protested against the legislation and tried their level best to block the passage of bills.

Even the opposition demanded a vote on the bills but there were 112 treasury members and 101 of the opposition in the house.

The opposition ultimately boycotted the legislation.

According to clause 2 (b) of “The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2020”, “a foreign national is aggrieved in respect of the rights available under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention of Consular relation of 24 April 1953; such foreign national, either himself or through his authorized representative, or through a consular officer of a mission of his country, may file a petition before a High Court for review and re-consideration, in terms of section 3, with regard to an order of conviction or sentence of a Military Court operating under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.”

The petition for review and re-consideration may be filed within 60 days after becoming this law.

According to objectives and reasons of “The SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “A new sub-section has been introduced in section 9, in line with good governance for the appointment of an Acting Managing Director within a period of 60 days, from the date of vacancy, provided that the Managing Director shall be appointed within a period of three months from the date of the occurrence of vacancy. The power of the Board of Directors to appoint external auditors has been proposed in line with good governance. Amendments have been proposed to exempt the gratuity and provident fund of employees of the Bank from attachment as already provided for in case of pensioners to make the Act consistent with the existing compensation benefits.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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