ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Monday could not take up its agenda, as opposition parties strongly protested against not including Panama Leaks into the agenda.

The committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, was supposed to discuss Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Bill, Companies (appointment of legal advisors) Amendment Bill and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill.

Similarly, alleged corruption and irregularities in the Bank of Khyber was also part of the agenda.

However, protest by the members belonging to opposition parties made it hard for the committee to proceed with what it had planned to do.

The committee, on April 19, had directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to brief it on investigations into the offshore accounts of the people, named in the Panama Leaks papers.

The government had agreed to discuss the issue in the next meeting.

But when PPP and PTI MNAs learnt that Panama Leaks probe was not on the agenda, they started voicing concern over it.

“A member of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had assured us in the previous meeting that briefing will be given in the next meeting, which was held today (Monday). However, it is not included in the agenda,” said Dr Nafisa Shah of PPP. She expressed disappointment over the performance of the FBR.

Asad Umar of PTI said that contrary to the commitment, the government has not made Panama Leaks probe part of the agenda. “FBR should be closed down, if it has not made any progress on Panama Leaks issue,” Asad proposed.

Another PTI’s lawmaker, Jehangir Khan Tareen, said that opposition wanted to discuss Panama issue for the larger national interest.

He accused that FBR had the record relating to Panama Leaks, but it was concealing it from the committee members. He also demanded the government also shares details of the Dubai Leaks.

However, Mian Abdul Mannan of the ruling PML-N defended the government by saying the government had already written a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a judicial commission to probe into the Leaks issue.

“No one should play politics, as we all should wait for the reply of the Chief Justice,” he said.

Talking about Dubai leaks, he said that now investigations would be launched against everyone.