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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,709
524hr
Pakistan Cases
1,284,365
17624hr
0.48% positivity
Sindh
475,248
Punjab
442,950
Balochistan
33,479
Islamabad
107,626
KPK
179,928

The treasury benches on Monday yet again laid two more ordinances - 'the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019' and 'the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) 2019' - before the National Assembly.

According to the statement of objects and reasons, the amendments are being introduced with immediate effect through promulgation of 'the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019,' which seeks amendments in certain tax laws to remove impediments in the implementation of the concession agreement in respect of Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone.

Another ordinance titled 'the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) 2019' is in the context of disputes pending adjudication before civil courts as it takes many years or even decades to get cases decided by civil courts.

The proposed amendment in the existing Code of Civil Procedure is aimed towards expeditious disposal of cases without compromising the fundamental rights to fair trial.

Earlier, during a question-hour, the House was informed that the government is planning to generate 8000megawatts of electricity through renewable energy by 2025.

Replying to a question, Minister for Power Division Omer Ayub Khan said 11 wind energy-based projects have been approved to generate affordable electricity.

He said that around 85 percent electricity will be produced through domestic resources to provide power at affordable rates to the consumers in the country.

Ayub said that a total of 33 renewable energy projects with a cumulative capacity of over 1,716 megawatts were developed during the tenure of last two governments.

He said these renewable energy-based power generation projects have been developed by private sector investors and no government funds or expenditure is involved in this regard.

Replying to a question, Ayub said that eighteen exploratory wells have so far been drilled in the offshore area but unfortunately all of them were found dry.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, while responding to a question, said that the government has launched an awareness campaign in the federal capital regarding child abuse.

Responding to a question, Parliamentary Secretary for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Sobia Kamal Khan said that the federal government in collaboration with Gilgit-Baltistan government is making all-out efforts to reduce power shortage in GB.

She said the federal government in collaboration of Gilgit-Baltistan government has initiated a development project for establishment of Regional grid in Gilgit-Baltistan phase-1 at a cost of five billion rupees.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said that Pakistan's decision to open Kartarpur Corridor is in contrast to Indian Supreme Court's verdict on the Babri Mosque site.

Responding to a point of order, she said the Corridor has been opened up in honor of religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

She said the PPP and PML-N were saying that they too had envisioned opening up of the corridor, but now they are criticizing the move because the PTI has materialized this.

She said they should refrain from political point-scoring over this matter.

Communication Minister Murad Saeed said that Hazara Motorway has been completed and will be opened on Friday.

Responding to a point of order, he said previous government had changed the design of the motorway to benefit to some cronies, which resulted in escalation of cost and timeframe for the completion of the project.

He said so far Rs 10.8 billion has been recovered due to hike in cost by changing designs of various highways, including Hakla-DI Khan and Multan-Sukkur motorways.

Murad Saeed told the National Assembly that the revenue of Pakistan Post increased from Rs 11.74 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 to Rs 14.77 billion in FY 2018-19.

In a written reply to a question asked by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) lawmaker Abdul Shakoor Shad, Murad Saeed apprised the House that an increase of Rs 3.03 billion was witnessed in the FY 2018-19 in addition to Rs 4.6 billion receivables.

Saeed told that Pakistan Post earned a revenue of Rs 9.67 billion in FY 2014-15, Rs 10.23 billion in FY 2015-16, Rs 11.22 billion in FY 2016-17, Rs 11.74 billion in FY 2017-18 and Rs 14.76 billion in FY 2018-19.

The minister said that strict financial discipline and austerity measures were put in place in the Pakistan Post Office Department (PPOD), adding that a 10 percent cut was imposed on the allocated budget of the PPOD.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati called upon the opposition to sit with government for a debate on laws about National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and to remove flaws form it with mutual discussion.

He stated this while winding up debate on a motion under Rule 218 in Senate regarding recent wave of alleged political victimization and denial of fundamental rights to members of opposition parties and revocation of citizenship of a former member parliament.

He said that opposition parties remained involved in politically victimizing each other in past and have been trying now to stop the accountability process by standing with each other.

Their purpose was to undermine efforts of highlighting Kashmir and resolving other national issues, he added.

He urged the chairman NAB to strengthen the prosecution of NAB and take action across the board.

He said that NAB is an independent institution and anyone having involvement in corrupt practices should not be spared.

He said that the then Ehtesab Bureau headed by Saif ur Rehman was used in past for political victimization and those starting politics through the support of dictators should not tell the PTI about political moves.

He said the verdict in the Jehangir Tareen case was accepted despite reservations. Though the entire money trail was presented during this particular case, the decision went against Tareen.

Swati said that he politically remained affiliated with JUI-F for nine years but they could not claim anything wrong about him.

He said that entrainment expenditure of his office was absolutely zero because the money of poor people of Pakistan and taxpayers could not be used for such purposes.

The minister said that politics on religious issues should be avoided but honest practices in politics should be encouraged. He also spoke about cancellation of citizenship of former Senator Hafiz Hamd Ullah and said that delay in serving notices is improper.

The House adopted a resolution to extend the "Recovery of Mortgaged-backed Security Ordinance 2019" for a further period of one hundred and twenty days with effect from Nov 15. The House was adjourned due to lack of quorum. It will meet again at 11:00am on Thursday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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