ISLAMABAD   -  The main opposition parties are adamant to get top slots in majority of the important National Assembly Standing Committees, causing delay in the formation of the committees.

The opposition parties had to give names of their selected members to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser around a month before to get their share for chairmanships of the bodies.

But the opposition even after the expiry of the deadline did not share the names as they are interested in getting chairmanships of the main committees, sources shared with The Nation.

The deadline, according to the rules and procedures and conduct of the business, has been expired on September 18. Sources said the speaker office had already conveyed to the opposition that the old parliamentary practice would be followed to distribute chairmanships of the committees.

Giving the reference of PPP-P’s and PML-N’s government’s era, the speaker office had argued that the top slots of the standing committees were enjoyed by the ruling parties’ members.

When contacted, DGPR National Assembly Mohsin Iqbal said the standing committees are not formed. The opposition side has still not shared names for their representation in the standing committees, he said.

The 15th National Assembly has also still not formed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to review the audit objection of previous governments. The ruling party has reportedly decided not to give the chairmanship of PAC to leader of opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. The government side wants to give the slot to its party member. The matter has still not been resolved between the government and the main opposition parties (PPP-P and PML-N).

Sources said the government side once again would invite the opposition to resolve this matter amicably, as main opposition party had hinted to boycott the standing committees if this slot was not allotted to PML-N. On the other hand, the former speaker National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam is on cards for heading the PAC from the government side.

Members of the committees, according to the rules and regulations, are to be elected by the assembly within 30 days after election of the Leader of the House (Prime Minister). Standing Committees are given much importance in parliamentary democracy to deal with the matters mainly referred by the house (national assembly).and the final decision of the committees is referred to the house with recommendations.

There is a standing committee for each ministry in addition to the standing committee on public accounts, standing committee on rules of procedure and privileges, standing committee on house and library and standing committee on government assurance and business advisory.

According to the rules, each committee shall comprise not more than 20 members to be elected by the National Assembly while a lawmaker can become a member of multiple committees. The minister concerned will act as an ex-officio member in respective committee, however, he is not entitled to vote unless he is a member of the assembly.