ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat unanimously recommended to maintain up to 300 units slab, and chairman and members of the committee claimed that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has assured them during the budget preparation that consumers using up to 300 units would remain protected.

The committee meeting presided over by Senator Rana Maqbool, on Tuesday, stated that people are suffering and the government is "merciless" as the proposed plan which was shared by the Power Division in the NEPRA hearing would make the lives of the consumers miserable.

The chairman NEPRA, however, no answer to the members' queries and all he stated that proposal was sent to them by the Power Division, however, on the issue of investigation against K-electric fatal accidents, Senator Rukhsana Zuberi emphasised that there are significant lapse and loopholes in the investigation.

The committee also sought a report from the NEPRA officials on the number of casualties, grant of compensation and the grounds on which the cause of death has been determined.

Senator Rukhsana lamented the fact how the NEPRA report showed unceremonious behavior on death of an insane among the causalities of the incident.

The committee also received a briefing from OGRA officials and directed it to probe and submit who was responsible for LNG fiasco and did not book the LNG when its prices were at lowest ebb. The chairman committee wanted that the OGRA should track down the responsible for those who had not made timely booking and whether there were mala fide intentions, causing a loss of billions of dollars to the country.

The chairman also issued instructions to constitute a five-member subcommittee along with the members of the attached department to probe into the matter and unveil those responsible for such an immense loss in the larger interest of the country. The chairman Committee also recommended that the Parliament be given the authority to decide the rise in oil pricing.

At the outset, the meeting was given briefing by secretary Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) about its performance.

She informed the committee that eight members out of 11 have been appointed in the commission.

The secretary FPSC on the CSS (Central Superior Services) competitive examination, stated that from 2015 to 2020, only 13 out of 421 vacancies have been filled by the minorities for the civil services, however female and minorities from rural areas and Balochistan have been reluctant either for qualification standard of other issue.

Senator Saadia Abbasi, along with the committee members, underlined the need for creating enabling environment to attract minorities as there was inherent bias against them.

The committee members wanted to know why steps are not being taken on a serious basis to fill these vacancies. In response, the committee was informed that passing percentage of the CSS exams was brought down by three per cent for the underprivileged areas. The committee was also informed that campaigns were also conducted to bring awareness among the students, inviting them to join the civil services.

The FPSC informed the committee that the general recruitment process undergoes different stages of advertisement, syllabus, application, written exams, written results, scrutiny of documents, interview, and final results.

Final merit list is based on marks obtained in the screening test, interview as per quota.

The meeting was attended by senators Saifullah Sarwar Khan Niyaze, Kamil Ali Agha, Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmed Zai, Khalida Ateeb, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Saadia Abbasi, Naseebullah Bazai, and Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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