ISLAMABAD - The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday decided to table the recently promulgated National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 in the parliament for improvement.

The cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, after holding an in-camera briefing on the Ordinance, decided to place it before the parliament for an in-depth discussion.

“For the law to be passed through the Senate, it is important for the opposition to be on board. But the government will not bulldoze this entire process to forcefully implement the law,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said.

Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, she criticised the opposition’s “hypocrisy” for wanting to amend the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws for 11 years, and now objecting to the PTI government’s introduction of the new NAB law.

“Actually, the opposition parties are overjoyed, but publicly they are criticising the government’s move, done in good faith,” she said, and added that although it was the opposition’s right to criticise the government whenever it was at fault, the attitude adopted by it towards the law was “inappropriate”.

“They, PML-N and PPP, have alleged that the government has introduced the ordinance to stop NAB from probing mega corruption cases involving the PTI government members,” the SAPM said.

Dr Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the business community in Karachi, had reiterated that he “picked the thorns out of their way” through the NAB ordinance.

She said the ordinance was aimed at facilitating investors because investment in the country would lead to jobs creation.

To a question about the discussion that took place at cabinet’s meeting on narcotics case against PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, she said the ANF director general also briefed the cabinet about the case.

“The federal cabinet has decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch a comprehensive programme worth Rs6 billion to provide essential edibles to people at subsidised rates.

Firdous said edibles like flour, sugar, ghee and pulses will be provided to the people at utility stores across the country on subsidised rates.

She said the programme would be launched next week, while financial assistance cards would be launched in the last week of the next month.

The SAPM said health cards would be provided to the deserving people through newly compiled database and those who were not registered with the database would be extended assistance through langar khanas.

She said the network of langar khanas and shelter homes would be expanded to more parts of the country.

Regarding precarious human rights situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK), Firdous said the cabinet had passed a unanimous resolution, condemning state oppression and the brutalities being perpetrated by the Indian security forces on the people of Kashmir for the last five months.

The cabinet also condemned Modi government’s tactics against minorities through discriminatory laws like Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.

Fridous said the cabinet commended Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts for creating awareness about the plight of the people of occupied Kashmir at international forums.

Firdous said that the cabinet was also briefed about the overall economic indicators of the national economy by Asad Omer and expressed satisfaction over the positive trends.