WEB DESK: The National Assembly Wednesday passed “The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2015” to protect to witnesses, president, members of the court, defending officers, prosecutors and persons concerned with court proceedings.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal tabled the Bill in the House for its passage. The House passed the Bill with majority.
According to the Bill, a new section 2C was inserted after section 2B in Pakistan Army Act, 1952. A new section is described as: “Protection to witness, president, members of the court, defending officers, prosecutors and persons concerned with court proceedings. The convening authority or the court constituted under this Act may make such orders or take such measures, like sitting in camera, not publishing the names of court officials etc, as it deems fit, within available resources, for the protection of witnesses, President, members, prosecutors, defending officers and other persons concerned in court proceedings for an offence under this Act, as may be prescribed.”
According to objectives of the Bill, if an extraordinary situation and circumstance exist which demand special measures for speedy trial of certain offences relating to terrorism, waging war or insurrection against Pakistan and prevention of acts threatening security of Pakistan by any terrorist group using name of religion or sect and members of such armed groups, wings and militia than in order to ensure proper conduct of trials, special measures for protection and indemnity against legal proceedings as well as arrest or detention of the accused persons; it is desirable that during the conduct of said trials, security and safety of court officials must never get compromised. Therefore, special measures for protection of such officials and indemnity against arrest / detention of terrorists are required.
The National Assembly also passed “The Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers (Amendment) Bill, 2015” to increase minimum wages per month. Muhammad Shafqat Hayat Khan, Parliamentary Secretary for Inter-Provincial Co-ordination, moved “The Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers (Amendment) Bill, 2015” in the House for approval. The House passed the Bill with an amendment. According to the Bill, the minimum wage for workers is increased from Rs 12000 to Rs 13000 per month.
According to objectives of the legislation, the minimum wage notified by the Provincial Governments under the Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1969 is applicable to a very small segment of workers, working in industrial establishments given in the notification, while the minimum wages provided in the schedule of the Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers Ordinance, 1969 are applicable to all industrial establishments. Moreover, the Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) is facing difficulty to collect contribution according to minimum wages announced by the Federal Government. As the Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Act, 1976 reckons rates of wages as declared under the Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers Ordinance, 1969. Therefore, this bill to amend the schedule of the said Ordinance of 1969 is proposed.
By Naveed Butt
Source: Business Recorder