ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs has unanimously approved two bills including Registration of Hajj/Umrah Bill 2008 and the Publication of the Holy Quran Bill.
The committee approved both the bills in a meeting held on Tuesday at Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Mualana Muhammad Qasim.
The committee examined the bills of Registration of Hajj/Umrah and the Publication of the Holy Quran.
The Bill of the Registration of Hajj/Umrah 2008 had been moved by Riaz Fatyana of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) while the Publication of the Holy Quran Bill (Elimination of Printing and Recording Efforts) had been moved by Mrs Yasmeen Rehman of Pakistan Peioples Party (PPP).
Ministry of Religious Affairs and members of the Committee appreciated both MNAs and made some amendments in bills.
The committee commended the efforts of Riaz Fatyana on formulating Registration of Hajj/Umrah Bill 2008.
The Committee expressed that there was no such regulatory mechanism in the past to control and keep check and balance on the Hajj Group Organizers.
Yasmeen Rehman briefed the Committee about the Publication of the Holy Quran Bill.
She said that the bill sought to ensure the disposal of martyred/ damaged Holy Pages and Copies of the Holy Quran in a proper manner as well as to stop the publication of the Holy Quran on the sub-standard papers.
The committee and Religious Ministry appreciated Mrs.
Yasmeen Rehman's moved bill and made some amendments in the prposed bill.
Yasmeen Rehman told the Nation that some amendments were made in the Bill for becoming more effective.
About the amendments, she said that before publication of the Holy Quran, the concerned company would consult with Scholar Committee for proof reading and removing errors.
She said that any company could not publish the Holy Quran without the approval of this Scholar Committee.
She said that according to amendment in the bill the government would also impose penalty of five-year prison and one Lakh fine who publishes the Holy Quran without the approval of Scholar Committee and sub-standard paper.
For improving the standard of the paper, she said that the committee also approved that 52 gram would be minimum weight of one paper of the Holy Queran.
The MNA said that that the government would also eliminate the tax on publishing especially for the Holy Quran.
She said that the Punjab Government would also arrange for recycling to the paper of Holy Quran.
Najeeb Ullah Malik, secretary religious affairs, apprised the committee that they had vetted the said bill from the Law Division and would be submitted before the Cabinet meeting for approval very soon.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-Feb-2009 here.