ISLAMABAD - Major opposition parties in the Parliament blamed the PML-N government for creating hurdles in the legislative process by blocking their bills in the Parliament.

The government, till the completion of fourth parliamentary year, blocked nearly 48 bills of the opposition parties, including 16 rejected, eleven withdrawn and 12 dropped. The opposition alleged that the government’s attitude for dropping the important bills was an ‘issue of egoism’.

The opposition parties in fourth parliamentary year came up with 111 bills but its eleven bills were passed and 61 introduced. The government side with different arguments dropped 12 bills, withdrew eleven and rejected 16. The government side, currently enjoying 2/3 majority, was able to pass its 50 bills and introduced 20 in different timings.

The figure of independent entity (Fafen) reveals that the House passed 50 government and 11 Private Members bills while 20 government and 61 Private Members bills are under review of the committees or pending at the second-reading stage.

Among 61 Private Members’ Bills introduced in the House, 22 were sponsored by the lawmakers belonging to MQM, 15 by PML-N, seven by PPP-P, six by JUI-F, five by PTI, four by JI and one by QWP-S. The breakup also revealed one Private Member’s bill was jointly sponsored by lawmakers belonging to PML-N and JUI-F. The female lawmakers sponsored 33 bills, male lawmakers eight and the remaining 20 bills were jointly sponsored by both.

The lawmakers from opposition parties blamed government for creating hindrance in the legislation process by blocking bills of opposition members with different ways.

Talking to The Nation, PPP’s Shazia Marri said there was an issue with the mindset of the PML-N government. “The government side always make it an ‘issue of ego’ when opposition side floats any bill in the parliament,” said Marri, terming it purely an anti-parliamentary attitude. Citing examples of opposition bills related to ‘Thalassemia issue’, ‘Domestic Child labour issue’ and others, she said, the government side blocked these important bills without any solid reasons. “They have to give 10 to 15 reminders in the National Assembly Secretariat for putting the bills on agenda items (order of the day),” said Marri.

When contacted, PTI’s Dr Shireen Mazari said, the government either rejects opposition bills without seeing the content or they hold them up in committee for years. “My own bill on ratification of international treaties is still stuck in the committee,” she said adding that this makes a mockery of the parliamentary system of legislation.

MQM’s Kishwar Zehra also criticised the government for repeatedly dropping the bills from opposition side.”Government has blocked bills initiated from my party side at different stages include National Assembly standing committee,” said MQM lawmaker, adding that her bill include ‘amendment in Organ transplant’ and ‘Physical torture of Police’ etc were dropped by government.

The government side introduced bills focused on electoral reforms, Fata reforms, technical education and training and institution reforms. The legislation approved by the House addressed the economic sector reforms, justice system, institutional development and reforms and human rights.

Moreover, the bills passed were related to the issues of security, education, health, governance, elections, accountability, environment, agriculture, parliamentary affairs and prevention of electronic crimes.

A number of attempts were made to contact Minister for Parliamentary affairs Sheikh Aftab but he did not attend his cell-phone.

A brief description of the legislation carried out in the House says the House passed 15 bills related to the economy, financial sector and taxation. The Companies Ordinance, 1984 was replaced with an updated law.

The Assembly outlawed benami transactions as well as amended the banking and financial institution laws. It approved the bills providing for establishment of Public Private Authority and Deposit Protection Corporation.

About accountability and transparency, the assembly approved the government bill for setting up inquiry commissions on public importance matters. The legislation was initially passed during last year in the backdrop of political parties’ demand to hold inquiry into prime minister’s family businesses revealed in the Panama Leaks.