ISLAMABAD - Amid opposition’s walkout, the government in Monday’s national assembly with majority of votes laid three ordinances including ‘NAB Accountability Ordinance (Second Amendment), 2019’.

The opposition parties, before staging walkout from the house, strongly criticized PTI’s government for ignoring proper legislation and introducing ‘ordinances culture’ in the parliament.

The opposition lawmakers made a failed attempt to block the proceedings by pointing out quorum but required strength from treasury benches was present in the house to smoothly dispose of legislative business in absence of opposition.

The government side, in less than ten minutes, hurriedly laid three ordinances including ‘The National Accountability Ordinance, 2019’, ‘Women’s Property Rights (Amendment) Ordiannce,2019’ and ‘The Tax Laws (Amendment), Ordinance 2019’.

The statement of objects and reasons of ‘The National Accountability Ordinance, 2019’ says, “Under the existing regime a number of inquiries have been initiated against the holder of public offices and government servants on account procedural lapses, where no actual corruption is involved. This has enhanced NAB’s burden and has also affected working of federal government. NAB, while assuming parallel jurisdiction, is also inquiring into matters pertaining to taxation, imposition of levies. It is therefore felt necessary to define through the subject amendments the operational domain of NAB”.

According to the amendment in the ordinance, “Inquiries and investigations shall stand transferred to the respective authorities which administer the relevant laws of taxation, levies or imposts in question”.

The second ordinance entitled ‘Women’s Property Rights (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019’ laid in the house to ensure fair and just adjudication of the case. The statement of object and reasons says, ‘There was no forum of appeal or representation against the order of ombudsman. Hence to ensure fair and just adjudication of the case, an amendment was introduced in the ordinance to provide for right of representation against the order within thirty day,”. The third ordinance entitled ‘Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2019’ aimed to amend the Customs Act, 1969, Sales Tax Act, 1990, Income Tax Ordinance, 2001’. The statement of object and reasons says, “Amendments are being introduced to augment effort toward economic stability and ensure expeditious implementation of tax policies envisaging documentation of the economy, broadening of the tax base, compliance with international obligations”.

EXTENSION IN TENURE OF TWO ORDINANCES:

The government side approved extension in the period of two ordinances ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Ordinance, 2019’ and ‘The Tax laws (Amendment)’.

The statement of object and reasons says, “The authority shall be primarily responsible to ensure inter-provincial and inter-ministerial coordination and organize meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee to ensure implementation besides narrative building and communication of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor,”.

FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION BILL 2019 PASSED:

Taking advantage of the opposition’s absence, the government also managed to pass ‘The Federal Public Service Commission, 2019’, with an aim to achieve the objective of validating the rules for regulating the competitive examinations conducted by the FPSC in the year 2016.

PPP-P’s senior lawmaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, with the outset of the proceedings, came down hard on the government for not taking them into confidence about presentation of ordinance in the house. “Presenting ordinance is tantamount to make the house redundant...Government should avoid bulldozing the laws,” said PPP-P’s MNA, mentioning that the government should respect the rules and procedures of the parliament. Ashraf along with his party lawmaker also announced to walkout from the house in protest. PPP-P was joined by all opposition parties in protest.