The Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday failed to submit with the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Science and Technology its report regarding legislation on three private member bills moved by Syed Fakhar Imam from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and asked the ministry to submit the required report before the committee's next meeting.
In the committee's meeting presided over by Sajid Mehdi from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the officials of Law and Justice Ministry informed the committee that the ministry's report on the three bills; National Institute of Oceanography Amendment Bill 2019, Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority Bill 2019 and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources Bill 2019, is not ready yet and is still pending.
The ministry officials assured the committee that the report would be ready by the committee's next meeting, following which, the discussion on the aforesaid bills was again deferred till next meeting.
Earlier on November 21, the committee had deferred the discussion on these bills following reservations from the Law and Justice Ministry after the ministry informed the committee that it needed to minutely review the amendments in the Constitution proposed by Fakhar Imam.
According to the statement of objects and reasons of the three bills, "The proposed amendments would achieve objective of valuable participation of the people in rules making process, meaningful exercise of authority by the minister-in-charge to assume primary responsibility, for the disposal of business pertaining to his portfolio including rule making and efficient and effective parliamentary oversight relating to delegated legislation.
"Although under the Constitution, the Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Senate and the National Assembly, yet under the Rules of Business, 1973, the minister-in-charge is responsible for policy concerning his division and the business of the division is ordinarily, disposed of by, or under his authority, as he assumes primary responsibility for the disposal of business pertaining to his portfolio. Therefore it is necessary that all rules, including previously published, made after the prorogation of the last session shall be laid before both Houses; as soon as may be after the commencement of a session and thereby shall stand referred to the Standing Committee concerned with the subject matter the rules."
Apart from that, Dr Samina Qidwai from National Institute of Oceanology briefed the committee on the need of introducing oceanography in "almost all the universities of the country as a subject for which the efforts are required at the level of this committee for future research in the new field."
Director Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Dr Mirza Habib Ali briefed the committee about the functions of PSF.