NA committee defers five bills to protest finance adviser’s absence

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue had recently deferred five government’s bills to protest the absence of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from the meeting.

Earlier on February 27, the committee had decided that it would not consider the government’s bills in the absence of Shaikh, who normally does not attend the parliamentary committee meetings.

As the adviser was once again absent from the March 11 (Wednesday) meeting, the committee, which met under the chairmanship of MNA Faizullah, had decided to defer the discussion on the government’s five bills.

The bills included The Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, The SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Post Office Cash Certificate (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Post Office National Savings Certificate (Amendment) Bill and The Government Savings Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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The committee also recommended that The Controller General of Accounts (Appointment, Functions and Powers) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and The Islamic Development Bank (Amendment) Bill should not be passed by the lower house.

The finance secretary appraised the committee about the draft strategy of the upcoming budget for the financial year 2020-2021. He also briefed the committee regarding the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made by the government during an in-camera meeting.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Faheem Khan, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Ali Perviz, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Nafisa Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, besides senior officers from the Ministry of Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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