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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has passed "The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2020" to prohibit the appointment a civil servant holding dual nationality or citizenship of any foreign country.

The Committee met with MNA Kishwer Zehra in the chair at the Parliament House on Tuesday.

The Committee discussed "the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2020", "The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018", and "Pakistan Public Procurement Regularity Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020", issues relating to Abandoned Property Organization, and calling attention notice about floods and environment of the country.

The "Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2020" was moved by Jam Abdul Karim, in the meeting of the committee.

The committee approved the bill with a majority.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to table two significant Constitutional amendments bills in the Parliament, one allowing Pakistani dual nationals to contest elections without revoking their foreign nationality, and the other proposes abolishing secret balloting in the Senate election.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNAs, Jam Abdul Karim Bijar, Abdul Qadir Patel, and Agha Rafiullah, had submitted "The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2020" in the National Assembly just before the end of the second parliamentary year.

The bill seeks to amend Section 5 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973.

According to the amendment, "a civil servant holding dual nationality or citizenship of any foreign country shall not be entitled for appointment."

In the statement of objects and reasons, the bill said the government servants must have their stakes in the country in which they hold positions of authority, privilege and trust.

It has been observed, it said, the government servants who hold dual nationality put at stake the interests of the country and the moment they retire, they leave the country to evade accountability.

"There is a need to ensure the loyalty of government servants in the light of Article 5 of the Constitution. This bill is designed to achieve the said object," the bill read.

While discussing a calling attention notice, moved by Usama Qadri regarding closure of Abandoned Property Organization, and Aik Hunar Aik Nagar, the Committee asked the federal government that the Abandoned Property Organization (APO) may neither be closed nor its properties are disposed off.

The Committee suggested that the all those properties with the APO be given to the people who opted to be Pakistanis in 1971.

The Committee also suggested for a forensic audit to see the mismanagement and misappropriation in the organization after its establishment.

The Committee, while discussing the Pakistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020, sought further clarification on the proposed amendments in the law, and decided to discuss it in its next meeting.

It was told to the Committee that MD of Pakistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority has been appointed from the civil servants.

Ali Nawaz Khan and other members of the Committee said that all professional and technical people should be appointed in the regulatory authority.

They said that the MD appointed should be a professional and technical person.

The committee proposed that the Pakistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority should be headed by a professional having expertise in the relevant field.

For this purpose, the committee has given task to Law Ministry to prepare a amendment to incorporate in the Pakistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020, for appointment a professional having expertise as head of regularity authority.

The committee asked the Establishment Division to pursue the convening of Cabinet Committee on Disposal of Legislative cases for decision on two Constitution (Amendment) Bills moved by Aliya Kamran, MNA, and Salahuddin Ayubi, MNA.

The committee was apprised that the meeting of the committee was scheduled for 17th September, 2020; however, due to non-availability of the convener, it could not take place.

While taking up Starred Question moved by Sher Akbar Khan, MNA, regarding construction of dispensaries in NA-9 under Peoples Works Programme, the committee asked for fetching present status of the dispensaries.

The Additional Secretary Health Department apprised the committee that the dispensaries/hospitals were taken over by the Health Department upon transfer of their title to the Health Department.

The mover informed that funds were released; work was initiated but could not be completed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020