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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday passed 29 bills – the majority of them were about setting up new universities – including the Pakistan Air Safety Investigation Bill, 2023.

The house also witnessed the introduction of 23 bills related to the establishment of the universities.

The Pakistan Air Safety Investigation Bill, 2023, which was moved by the parliamentary secretary for parliamentary affairs Saad Waseem.

According to objects and reasons of the bill, “presently, air safety investigations are carried out by a unit of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which has also been entrusted with regulatory functions. This situation [is] undesirable in the interest of fairness and objectivity.”

“At the same time, standard and recommended practices (SARPs) of [the] International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), require a separate institutional arrangement for the provision of air safety investigation services,” it added.

The parliamentary secretary also introduced further amendments to the Newspapers Employees Condition of Service Act 1973 (the Newspapers Employees Condition of Service Bill, 2023) and a National Commission of Human Development Ordinance 2002 (National Commission of Human Development Bill, 2023).

A bill to provide the establishment of Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Funds to contribute to sustainable economic development through the management of funds assets to achieve optimal use according to best international standards policies and practices to maximize their values for future generations (The Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Funds Bill, 2023) was also introduced in National Assembly by Saad Waseem on behalf of Minister for Finance Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The bills which were passed by the house included the Metropolitan International Institute of Science and Technology Bill, 2023, the Askari Institute of Higher Education Bill 2023, the Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2021, the Federal Ziauddin University Bill, 2023, the Indus University of Science and Technology Bill, 2022, the Institute of Management and Technology Bill, 2023, the Pak China, Gwadar University, Lahore Bill, 2023, the protection of Family Life and Wedlock Bill, 2023, the University of Shaheed Benzair Bhutto (USBB) Bill, 2023, the Institute of Health and Professional Studies (IHPS) Bill, 2023, the Sheikhupura Institute of Advance Sciences (SIAS) Bill, 2023, the Cosmic Institute of Science and Technologies Islamabad (CISTI) Bill, 2023, the Bulleh Shah International University Bill, 2023, the Ravi Institute (RI) Bill, 2023, the International Islamic Institute for Peace (IIIP) Bill, 2023, the Shah Bano Institute Jaranwala Bill, 2023, the International Memon University Bill, 2023, The Ume Abeeha Institute of Health Sciences (UIHS) Bill, 2023, the Mufti-e-Azam Islamic University Bill, 2023, The Kalam Bibi International Women Institute Bannu (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Islamabad International University, 2023, the Pakistan Points of Entry (Public Health) Bill, 2023, The Islamabad Institute of Modern Sciences Bill, 2023, the al-Biruni International University Bill, 2023, the National University of Health Emerging Sciences and Technologies, Islamabad Bill, 2023, the National Institute of Technology Bill, 2023, the Pakistan Institute of Management, Sciences and Technology Bill, 2023 and the Horizon University Bill, 2023.

The house was informed that government is according top priority to the provision of gas to domestic consumers.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Nafisa Shah, the parliamentary secretary for parliamentary affairs told the house that the country is faced with the issue of gas shortage.

He said that efforts are being made to ensure the availability of gas to domestic consumers at the time of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Earlier, Nafisa Shah said that Khairpur Economic Zone was set up with the vision to promote small and medium industries in the country.

Such economic zones were set up with the government’s guarantee to provide all services, she said, adding Sindh government set up the first economic zone in Khairpur with a total cost of Rs2 billion which attracted not only local but foreign investment.

“Some 80-100 units were set up in the zone…Khairpur district has been providing 360 mmcfd gas to the country for the last 20-25 years,” she added.

Speaking on a point of order, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif clarified that “he has neither made any gender-specific nor derogatory remarks against the PTI women senators during the joint sitting of the parliament.”

He claimed that his statement was taken out of context as it was actually regarding the bulldozing of the bills in the tenure of the PTI.

He said that it is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan who has been using foul language against Maryam Nawaz and Faryal Talpur.

He said that the parties in the coalition government have certain traditions which they adhere to, whilst the tradition of the PTI is “abuse and vulgarity.”

He said that the PTI leaders should not condone the transgression of their party chairman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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