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ISLAMABAD: The upper house of the Parliament suspended its routine business on Monday in an expression of solidarity with the victims of Murree tragedy— and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani over his brother’s death while Senate is scheduled to hold a debate on Murree incident today (Tuesday).

Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi presided over the Senate sitting. Chairman Senate was in his hometown of Dalbandin in Balochistan’s Chagai district in connection with his younger brother’s death.

The House offered Fateha, led by Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), for the victims of Murree tragedy, and Salaar Sanjrani, the brother of Sadiq Sanjrani, who lost his life in a road accident at Quetta-Karachi National Highway on Saturday.

Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem and Leader of the Opposition Yousaf Raza Gillani extended their condolences to the families of the victims of Murree tragedy, and the chairman Senate.

As many as 23 tourists lost their lives en route to Murree and Galiyat last week after been stranded in snowstorm. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments are under massive criticism from public and political circles for their failure in managing the influx of tourists to the small towns of Murree and Galiyat. The victims had turned on heaters in their vehicles and are believed to have died in their sleep due to suffocation/ carbon monoxide after remaining stranded for over 20 hours in freezing weather.

The House would hold a debate on his incident, today, on an adjournment motion moved by Sherry Rehman, Saleem Mandviwalla, Saadia Abbasi, Farooq Naek, Dilawar Khan, Faisal Subzwari, Taj Haider, Rukhsana Zuberi and Keshoo Bai.

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Talha Mehmood was scheduled to present committee’s report on Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021, commonly known as minibudget, in Monday’s sitting but it was deferred till today due to the suspension of routine business.

The House is also scheduled to consider and adopt the recommendations on this money bill. Last Tuesday, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin laid a copy of the minibudget in Senate that was referred to the Senate panel.

Constitutionally, the upper house of the Parliament can hold extensive debate on a money bill and devise recommendations accordingly but it has practically no role in budgetary legislation since it is completely up to the National Assembly to either completely or partially accept those recommendations or hand them an outright rejection.

Article 73 of the constitution which deals with parliamentary business with respect to money bills reads, “(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 70, a money bill shall originate in the National Assembly: Provided that simultaneously when a money bill, including the finance bill containing the annual budget statement, is presented in the National Assembly, a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Senate which may, within fourteen days, make recommendations thereon to the National Assembly.

(1A) The National Assembly shall, consider the recommendations of the Senate and after the bill has been passed by the assembly with or without incorporating the recommendations of the Senate, it shall be presented to the president for assent.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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