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ISLAMABAD: The members of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat raised serious concern over not convening any meeting of the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) during the last four years.

The committee met with Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed in the chair at the Parliament house on Wednesday.

The committee discussed the National Disaster Management Amendment Bill, 2022 introduced by Senator Simi Ezdi in the Senate session held on October 10, 2022. The committee chairman said that this bill is very important as climate change has become the biggest challenge for the country. He said that recent floods have shaken the foundations of the country. He said that more than 33 million people have been affected by the floods and millions have become jobless.

In response to Senator Ezdi’s question, the committee was informed that the meeting of the National Disaster Management Commission was held four years ago, on which, the chairman and members of the committee expressed serious concern and suggested that the commission should be convened four times a year. He said that the relevant ministers and secretaries must participate in the meeting of the commission. She said that minutes of every meeting must be provided to the Standing Committee.

The chairman committee said that the environmental problem has become so serious that the international community has also joined to create a mechanism under which people can be saved from the damages of natural disasters. He said that a sub-committee should be formed to work on the formulation of the mechanism.

The question asked by Senator Waleed Iqbal in the Senate session on November 5, 2021 about appointment of commissioners and deputy commissioners as chief secretaries in the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Senator Iqbal said that the standing committee should recommend that the rules which are mentioned should be acted upon according to the law. He said that he would soon bring a bill in this regard.

About the civil awards, the committee was told that nominations are sought from all federal institutions, divisions, subordinate institutions, and provincial governments for civil awards. It was told that three sub-committees review them and give a report to the Award Committee headed by the federal minister, after which, the candidates are included in the list.

Chairman Committee Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed said that there are many people who have done significant work for the country, but influential people are included in the list. He said that a mechanism should be created in which such qualified and competent people should be involved.

Senators Khaleda Ateeb, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Rukhsana Zuberi, Simi Ezdi, Muhammad Akram, and Waleed Iqbal, and senior officials attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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