ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives yesterday approved “The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020” with a majority vote.  

The committee that met with MNA Junaid Akbar in the chair, discussed “The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020” and other issues related to Higher Education Commission (HEC).

In its previous meetings, the committee had deferred The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and asked several questions to the Planning Ministry regarding the bill and the authority.

Before voting, the committee discussed the CPEC Authority Bill, 2020 clause by clause.

After detailed discussion, the committee agreed to decide the fate of the bill through voting.

After the voting, the Committee approved the Bill with majority. As many as seven members that belong to the government benches supported the Bill while five members of opposition benches opposed it. However, to maintain neutrality, the chairman of the committee refrained from voting.

Out of total 20 members of the committee, half each from the government and opposition benches, 13 members were present in the meeting. Out of 10 members from the government benches eight were present while five of the opposition members attended the meeting. 

The opposition members Muhammad Sajjad, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhary, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar and Syed Agha Rafiullah opposed the Bill.   

The Committee members also inquired from the Ministry of Planning that what salary package is being given to present Chairman CPEC. The Ministry replied that no salary package is being given to Chairman CPEC and no memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the Chairman CPEC after the expiry of the CPEC Ordinance. 

The Committee also unanimously confirmed the minutes of its previous meeting held on November 10.

The Committee also inquired about the compliance status of its previous three meetings and the ministry responded positively. 

The Committee directed the HEC to give a detailed briefing on their financial needs so that the Committee would be able to recommend additional funds for HEC.

The Committee further asked HEC why the students are being stopped for getting higher education abroad on scholarship basis.