Karachi - Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair Umar on Friday returned two bills namely Sindh NAB Ordinance Repeal Bill and Sindh New Captive Power Plant Subsidy Bill to the provincial assembly for reconsideration after raising objections on them.

The bills were passed by the provincial assembly with one aimed at repealing NAB Ordinance 1999 in the province amid the opposition parties’ protest in the wake of frequent actions and raids by NAB against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ministers and bureaucrats on charges of corruption while the other was aimed at giving subsidy to captive power plants over differentiate of power tariff.

The Sindh Assembly speaker had sent the bills for approval to the governor; however, the governor returned the bills to the Sindh Assembly for reconsideration on Friday.

Raising objections on the NAB Ordinance Repeal Bill, the governor said that the repeal bill of the provincial assembly was in conflict with the constitution and National Accountability Bill 1999, and that the new law was against the public interest.

He further gave example of Ehtesab Act in the KP Assembly in this regard.

He said that as per constitution if the provincial assembly approves a law that is against the federal laws then the federal law will prevail. “It is our prime responsibility to eliminate menace of corruption and since this law was against people’s interest therefore it could not be abolished,” he said, adding corruption is not a petty issue and it should be state’s priority to eliminate it. He said the assembly should reconsider it and then sent it back to him for approval.

Minister for Law and Prisons Ziaul Hassan Lanjhar said that it was the responsibility of the Sindh governor to assent the bill in 10 days and if returned to the assembly and the house would again approve it and thus there would be no need for governor’s assent and the bill will become a law.

He said after 18th Amendment, provincial assemblies are empowered to turn the bill into act if the governor refuses to approve it. “Governor’s refusal has no significance,” Lanjhar added. “We will soon convene the assembly session to get assent of the house to the bill,” he added.

Under the new law the provincial government had to set up a commission to seek accountability of its officials. Thus all the cases against the provincial legislators and officials would only be recommended to the anti-corruption department that falls under the provincial government jurisdiction.