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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly, Monday, passed, “The Trade Dispute Resolution Bill, 2022” to constitute a commission which would help to prevent the detrimental effects of unresolved international trade conflicts and to mitigate the imbalances between stronger and weaker players by having their disputes settled on the basis of rules.

“The Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2023” was also introduced in the Lower House of the Parliament to comply with Madrid Protocol for the requirement to implement the best practice of trademarks registration, including to enable electronic services and for robust legal safeguards.

Minister for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan moved, “The Trade Dispute Resolution Bill, 2022” in the House for passage. The House passed the bill with a majority.

According to the bill, the federal government would constitute a Commission to be called the Trade Dispute Resolution Commission and it shall have the same powers as vested a civil court.

NA passes two crucial bills

The commission shall be responsible for the performance of following functions:

(a) initiation of proceedings in relation to trade disputes that may arise between parties and make orders and determinations in such manner and form as many as be prescribed.

(b) Provision of a comprehensive regime for the swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the international trade in goods and services, including—— (i) provision and facilitation of a forum for negotiations, referral and allocation system, as provided in this Act, to allow and facilitate local and foreign importers and exporters access to a range of mechanism; (ii) the issue of final determination by the Commission itself; and (iii) conciliation in accordance with UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules; etc.

(c) Rendering advice to parties in relation to any proposed action to be taken by such parties and ensuring that such actions are coherent and consistent with the provision of this Act, rules, regulation mechanism or guidelines made hereunder;

(d) Monitoring of the conduct of dispute resolution mechanism and intervention in the event of delay;

(e) Maintaining the highest standards of integrity amongst all mediators, conciliation and arbitrators;

(f) Establishing and promoting arbitration and alternative dispute resolution institution with Pakistan; and

(g) Maintaining a collated database of all the chambers of commerce in the country as well as the trade bodies and registering any disputes that have been filed with these trade bodies.

According to the bill, the commission shall accept a trade dispute complaint if it is made through a written by one or more parties to the dispute.

The commission shall have power to refer the matter to any department or agency of the government, local chamber, any court, any bank, trade officer aboard, Pakistan embassy etc. The Commission may from time to time constitute and register regional conciliation committees. All law enforcement agencies and authorities in the federation and the provinces shall be under an obligation to provide and render full and complete assistance to the Commission.

Meanwhile, responding to points of order raised by the members of the house, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, said that a process has been started to recover the land of Pakistan Railways from the land mafia in Karachi.

He said that the recovery of railways land is being done as per apex court directives and the process must be supported by all.

He said that there is also a Supreme Court ruling regarding sacked employees and the departments are bound to implement it.

The House continued discussion on the recent incidents of terrorism, particularly in Peshawar.

Participating in the debate, Shahida Rehmani of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that the spike in terror attacks is quite alarming, which must be taken seriously.

She said that the National Action Plan should be implemented in letter and spirit to root out the menace of terrorism, adding the stability and progress of the country are linked to peace in the country, for which all the stakeholders should join hands.

The lawmakers belonging to all the political parties strongly condemned the alleged gang rape of a woman at F-9 Park in the capital, saying the police negligence in this regard must not be neglected.

Maulana Abdul Akber Chitrali of Jamaat-e-Islami said that “what to talk of other cities if women are not safe in the capital”, and regretted that the negligence of the police to ensure security in the city is appalling.

Sheikh Ruhail Asghar of the PML-N said that the inability of the NA Speaker is quite evident from his helplessness that he is unable to issue the production order for the imprisoned MNA and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir in a “sedition” case, while offered Fateha for a convicted general.

“I can understand your helplessness, deputy speaker, as you can’t do anything as in this country might is right,” he lamented.

He continued that the list of lawmakers’ helplessness is quite lengthy, as they simply could not resolve the genuine issues of their constituencies while the same issues are got done if the palms of a powerful bureaucrat are greased. The NA deputy speaker sought a report from IG Islamabad Nasir Akber Khan to submit a report about the alleged gang rape of a woman at F-9 Park by two unknown men.

The house also offered fateha for the departed soul of ex-military president Gen Pervez Musharraf as he breathed his last in Dubai on Sunday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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