ISLAMABAD                 -          Speaker National Assembly on Thursday appreciated the collected efforts of Sub-Committee for finalizing Terms of reference (ToRs) and Rules of Procedure in a short span of time.

A Sub-Committee under the convener ship of Minister for Narcotics Control Azam Khan Swati was constituted comprising on 6 members.  

The meeting the Sub-Committee was held on April, 8 and finalized its ToRs and Rules of Procedure for the Parliamentary Committee.

The convener has given full opportunities to all the parliamentary leaders for discussion on said ToRs and Rules of Procedure for its approval by the Committee.

Following are the ToRs approved by the committee:-

1. To create and promote national harmony amongst federal and federating units including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir for evolving unanimous narrative on the issues relating to current pandemic (COVID-19).

2. Parliamentarian should be given monitoring role Viz-a-Vis NDMA and relief operations.

3. How often the Committee should meet (it depends upon Honourable Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan)?

4. How efficiently we can use this forum, Parliament and Standing Committees to perform their functions in wake of this pandemic?

5. How can we mobilize all our resources at all levels to ensure our health system effectively functioning?

6. Coronavirus in Pakistan is interlinked with poverty and hunger.  What immediate innovative steps besides already being taken by Governments at all levels need to be identified and enforced to evolve strategy and mechanism to ensure provision of basic essential edibles to the needy & poor?

7. To oversee the Testing facilities throughout the country and bureaucratic bottlenecks, if any, should quickly be removed in procuring immediate necessary health related items at all levels.

8. To take measures and steps to ensure and facilitate the role of private Sector Health Services in regard to COVID-19.

9. SOPs of the NDMA to ensure equitable distribution of cash/relief packages to needy avoiding overlapping from various agencies of the Federal and Provincial Governments and taking all NGOs and civil society on board.

10. What immediate steps are required to protect the Economy?

11. To engage Media in creating and promoting National narrative on COVID-19.

The speaker further told that the follow up to be obtained on the recommendations of the Committee and the representatives of Provinces to be called in the next meeting for taking inputs on the disease as well as efforts being made at their end. 

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on  April, 20  he added. 

A Committee was constituted was last day on Tablighi Jamaat and task was given to Minister for State and Frontier Region Shehryar Afridi for resolving the issue of said Jamaat.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi informed the Committee that main object of the Committee was to collect inputs form political leaders and send to NCOC for Implementation.

He added that food items will be provided to 12 million persons as per old data and 4 million persons.

The Committee highly appreciated the initiatives taken Asad Qaiser  to Constitute a Parliamentary Committee on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) comprising Leaders of Parliamentary Parties in the National Assembly and the Senate.

The Speaker said main object to constitute the committee is to give the priority of inputs that would be obtained from the members of the Parliament and the recommendations of the committee would be forwarded to the government for implementation. 

The Opposition Members raised a number of questions in the Committee for the non-availability of ventilators, testing kits and other equipments required for coronavirus disease and utilization of funds received for said disease by the government.

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the data of BISP is consisted on Parliamentarian of PPPP and PML-N.  Tests of Coronavirus patients should be increased and ventilators are short in the county, he added.

Muhammad Hamad Azhar said that SOPs for distributions of food items have been given to the government of Punjab and NGOs.

 The old procedure for distributions of food items in District levels was not good, he added.  Uniform policy had been made with the consultation of Provinces for opening of Industries and shops, he further added.

The meeting attended by the Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Railways, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, MNA (PPPP),  Shahida Akhtar Ali, MNA (MMAP), Amir Haider Azam Khan, MNA (ANP), Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan (PML-N), Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif (MQM), Senator Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri (JUI-F), Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar (PMAP), Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, MNA (MMAP), Senator Sitara Ayaz (ANP), Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar (IND), Senator Aurangzeb Khan (IND), Senator Azam Khan Swati, Minister for Narcotics Control, Muhammad Hamad Azhar, Minister for Industries and Production, Dr. Nausheen Hamid, MNA, Parliamentary Secretary on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr. Babar Awan, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.

Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Razaq Daud, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Textile, Khawaja Muhammad, MNA, Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Ghaus Bux Khan Mahr, MNA attended the meeting by Video Link