ISLAMABAD  - Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has almost completed the task assigned to it which was delayed due to Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf’s joining the exercise late, and now hopefully the committee will incorporate the recommendations and proposals from the PTI in the final draft proposal by the end of this month.

Though the sub-committee continued its work despite PTI members’ boycott and had almost accomplished the task assigned to it, yet the return of PTI members in the committee’s meeting on 15th of last month forced the former federal minister Zahid Hamid, chairman of sub-committee, to extend the period of furnishing its report so that the PTI MPs would also give their input in it, a member of the committee informed The Nation.

The matter of any legislation on the electoral reforms would be delayed till July because the government would be presenting the Finance Bill 2015-16 on June 5 and almost the whole month would be consumed in debate on it. Under the constitution during debate on Finance Bill no other matter could be taken up in both the houses of the Parliament so any legislation on electoral reforms could not be possible before July, informed an official of National Assembly Secretariat. PTI members of the committee joined the proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms almost after the break of eight months as the party MPs, who are member of the committee, had only attended couple of inaugural meetings of the committee in which hardly its chairman was elected and its working mode was defined.

Sources in the committee commenting on the deliberations of series of meetings of the sub-committee informed that they had proposed structural changes in the Election Commission of Pakistan and in case the same were fully adopted and okayed by the main committee the future Election Commission of Pakistan would become very strong and powerful with minimal chances of any sort of rigging and irregularities in the future elections.

A member of the committee said that, besides proposing monetary autonomy to the Election Commission of Pakistan, they had proposed administrative and judicial powers to the officials of Election Commission as well, so that they could take action against those found involved in any sort of elections fraud. He further said that they had also reviewed the work already done in this connection by the earlier bodies of Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan, which could not be implemented due to some reasons, besides going through recommendations from cross section of society for removing anomalies in the prevalent electoral system in the country.

He hoped that the proposals and recommendations from PTI would be reviewed and incorporated in the already prepared set of proposals by the end of this month and then these proposals would be tabled before the main committee for final approval in order to give a shape of bill for proper legislation in the Parliament.

A source in the committee said that as Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar was the chairman of the main committee so for the whole month of June he would not be available for his engagement in getting the Finance Bill passed from the Parliament. So it would not be possible for him to give time to the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms for whole month, he added.

He further said that there was strong likelihood that the matter would further delay for another month but surely the legislation on electoral reforms would be done during the current month.