NA passes resolution condemning attack on Army officers

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution condemning the attack on the Army officers and expressing deep sympathies with the bereaved families.

The resolution moved by minister of state for parliamentary affairs stated that the House fully supports the Army in war against terrorism.

The resolution saluted the bravery of soldiers and called upon the government to recognize the sacrifices rendered by the soldiers in fight against terrorism.

Earlier replying to a call attention notice‚ Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad said the government has decided not to lay off a single employee of Pakistan International Airlines during the privatization of 26 percent shares.

The minister of state said around 19400 people working in PIA hold 12 percent share of the airline. He said government will keep the management of the airline as 62 percent shares will remain with government. He said only 26 percent shares will be floated in the market for non-core services. He said final decision in this regard is yet to be taken. The Minister of State said the aim behind the privatization of non-core services is to make PIA a profitable entity which is in the best interest of nation and country.

The House is discussing a motion moved by Dr. Raja Aamer Zaman regarding terms of International Monetary Funds to get loan worth 5.3 billion dollars. The mover said since the signing of the agreement‚ the value of rupee against dollar has decreased and the electricity tariff increased.

Minister for State and Frontier Regions Lt General (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said country is passing through difficult financial circumstances and a collective effort to overcome this challenge is the need of the hour instead of criticism.

He said government has no agenda to hide anything from the people and the terms and conditions of IMF agreement have already been published in the press. He assured the House that on return from foreign trip‚ Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will present the details of agreement before the House.

The Minister said at least for this fiscal year people must be prepared for difficult circumstances as the government exchequer is empty.

Taking part in the debate‚ Asad Umar said the real terms and conditions of the agreement with IMF need to be presented before the public. He said around 1.2 million people are expected to become unemployed because of the terms and conditions of IMF agreement and by the end of current fiscal year‚ 5.5 percent inflation given by the previous government‚ will rise upto 12 percent. He said government printed notes worth 636 billion rupees.

Ijaz Chaudhary said if government had not signed agreement with IMF the balance of payment would have not been improved.

Shazia Marri said this country has witnessed politics a lot on the national interests‚ now it is the time to sit together and formulate a concrete plan for the revival of economy. She stressed the need for revisiting IMF agreement by the august House. She said tax net needs to be broadened. Shazia Marri said terms and conditions of IMF agreement are also linked with the security situation of the country.

Arif Alvi said this House has serious reservations over the IMF agreement. He said it was promised during the budget session by the Finance Minister that printing of notes will not be exercised for the clearance of circular debt but the case is different.

Shireen Mazari said according to Fiscal Debt Limitation Act 2005‚ without the approval of agreement from the House‚ IMF agreement is illegal. She said the social setup of the countries‚ which take IMF loans get weaker. She said PML-N government is telling that it is representative of elite class of the country. She said it has failed in broadening the tax net and indirect taxes have been imposed on poor people.

Sajid Ahmed said just blaming the previous governments for their wrongdoings is not enough‚ rather we need to introduce the tradition of holding them accountable for their mismanagement.

Dr. Afzal Dhandla said it is now time for the elite class of the country to sacrifice. He said agriculture is being neglected. He urged the government to give subsidy to this sector as seventy percent people of the country are associated with this sector.

Amjad Ali Khan said had the government focused on improving the direct taxes rather than indirect taxes‚ the situation would have been different and the government would not have felt the need of consulting IMF for loan.

“The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill‚ 2013” was moved by S. A. Iqbal Qadri in the House. The chair referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.

S.A. Iqbal Qadri also introduced “The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013”.

Dr. Nafisa Shah laid before the House “The Political Parties Order (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013”. The chair also referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.

“The Publication of the Holy Quran (Elimination of Printing and Recording Errors) (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013” moved by Major (Retd) Tahir Iqbal was laid before the House.

Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho introduced “The HIV/AIDs (Safety and Control) Bill‚ 2013” in the House. NNI