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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, unanimously, recommended that Parliament should “immediately” send the bills to the President for assent, with a copy to the Parliamentary Division

The Committee met with Senator Taj Haider in the chair at the Parliament Lodges on Wednesday.

The Committee discussed the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, Rules of Business, and Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012.

The committee’s objective was to make recommendations aimed at enhancing the procedures for processing bills, thereby mitigating any delays in the legislative process aimed in the interest of the public at large.

Senator Taj Haider said that as identified in certain instances the bills passed by both Houses of the Parliament are not submitted within the appropriate time for the assent of the president of Pakistan.

The caretaker federal minister for parliamentary affairs explained that in pursuance of the Rules of Business, 1973, the bills are transmitted for the assent of the president via summary to the prime minister through the Parliamentary Affairs Division. Moreover, the prime minister under Article 48 of the Constitution can render his advice to the president on the bills submitted for assent.

Senator Taj Haider argued that there is no imminent need to send the bills to the prime minister before the president’s assent, as the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 clearly state that the Parliament stands sovereign over the executive.

Senator Syed Ali Zafar informed that according to Rule 128 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate (2012), the Senate of Pakistan can directly send bills to the President for assent, provided they are transmitted by the National Assembly and passed by the Senate without amendment. Additionally, he pointed out that Rule 158 of the National Assembly allows direct transmission of bills to the president if they are transmitted by the Senate and passed by the National Assembly without amendment. Furthermore, both Houses of Parliament have rules allowing the Parliament to send bills to the President when one House transmits the bills and the other passes it with amendments.

The Committee, unanimously, recommended that Parliament should “immediately” send the bills to the President for assent, with a copy to the Parliamentary Division. They also recommended aligning the Rules of Business 1973 with the Rules of Business and Conduct of the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan to avoid unnecessary delays.

The meeting was attended by senators Syed Ali Zafar, Syed Waqar Mehdi, Walid Iqbal and Prof Sajid Mir.

Caretaker Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi and other senior officials of relevant departments were also in attendance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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