ISLAMABAD - National Assembly standing committee on parliamentary affairs yesterday sought opinions of parliamentary political parties for increasing the quota of women seats in the parliament. The parliamentary body, chaired by MNA Mujahid Ali, recommended writing letters to the leaders of all the political parliamentary parties for giving their suggestions to increase quota of the women seats.

The committee members, discussing the ‘The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, decided to defer the bill till getting the response of parliamentary parties’ leaders about increasing the seats of women in the parliament.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 206 & 208)’ was referred to national assembly standing committee after it was introduced in the last national assembly session.

The statement of the objects of the bill says, “Increasing women’s representation in the government can empower women and is necessary to achieve gender parity. This notion of women’s empowerment is rooted in the human capabilities approach, in which individuals are empowered to choose the functioning that they deem valuable”.

“Female representatives not only advance women’s rights’ but also advance the rights of children. In national legislatures, there is a notable trend of women advancing gender and family friendly legislation,” it says.

The Committee meeting also deferred  “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020” (Article 140A) on the requests of the movers of the bills for its next meeting.

The Committee was informed that the Administration of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute & Research Center, Lahore has agreed in this respect to convene a meeting soon.

The committee meeting was participated by Mr. Junaid Akbar, Ms. Rukhsana Naveed, Mst. Shaheen Naz Saifullah, Ms. Zille Huma, Ms, Fouzia Behram, Rana Mubashir Iqbal, Mr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, Ms. Shamsun Nisa, Ms. Shagufta Jumani, Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, MNAs/Members of the Standing Committee and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. Ali Muhammad Khan) and a mover of the Bill, Ms.Noreen Farooq Khan.

Displeasure over CDA performance: Meanwhile, National Assembly Committee on House and Library has expressed its displeasure on the performance of CDA in parliament house and the lodges. The CDA was directed for conducting a comprehensive survey for assessing maintenance and roof water proofing requirements at parliament house and lodges.

The committee also directed for ensuring healthy and conducive environment through provision of natural light and fresh air in the parliament building. The committee further directed for sending samples of water from parliament house, lodges and government hostel for laboratory examination. The committee met under the Chairmanship of Deputy Speaker National assembly Qasim Khan Suri in Parliament House, this morning.

The Deputy Speaker directed National Assembly Secretariat to convey the recommendation of the committee to the Cabinet Division for exclusion of purchase of ambulances from the ban. The committee was of the view that a large number of parliamentarians were residing in lodges and the ambulance should be present there to cope with any emergency situation.

The Committee also directed CDA to provide space for establishment of Utility Store at parliament lodges at the earliest.

The Committee also asked the CDA to make arrangements for installation of Telephone exchange and establishment of dispensary at Government Hostel.

The meeting was attended by MNAs  Aliya Kamran,  Munawara Bibi Baloch, Rubina Irfan,  Musarrat Asif Khawaja,  Romina Khurshid Alam, Mussarat Rafique Mahesar, Nasiba Channa, Shahida Rehmani, senior officers from Finance Division, CDA and National Assembly Secretariat.