ISLAMABAD: The Senate began its 259th session on Monday afternoon with Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair.
The chair announced the Panel of Presiding Officers for the current session. It included Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Nehal Hashmi and Samina Abid.
The House offered Fateha for the departed souls of the renowned writer Bano Qudsia, famous educationist Hameeda Khuhro and mother-in-law of Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed.
The House also passed unanimous resolutions expressing profound grief over the sad demise of Bano Qudsia and Hameeda Khuhro.
The resolutions were moved by Syed Shibli Faraz and Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq respectively.
Five bills were introduced in the House on Monday.
These are “The Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Board Bill, 2017”, “The Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Islamabad Rent Restriction (Amendment) Bill, 2017” and “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017” (Amendment of Fourth Schedule).
These bills were moved by Chaudhary Tanvir Khan, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh.
The Chair referred these bills to the Standing Committees concerned for further deliberations.
The Senate today passed “The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) (Amendment) Bill, 2016”.
The bill moved by Nuzhat Sadiq provides to amend the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act, 1675.
Speaking on a motion moved by Sehar Kamran regarding status of implementation of the National Action and suggest ways and means for its uniform implementation in the country, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman said that the law and order and security situation has greatly improved and economy is on upward trajectory due to effective implementation of National Action Plan evolved by all the stakeholders unanimously.
He said the Prime Minister himself monitored the NAP to ensure significant progress on it which has resulted reduction of terrorist incidents in the country.
The Minister of State said the government has also released 1.4 billion rupees against the demanded budget of 1.8 billion rupees by National Counter-Terrorism Authority [NACTA].
He said a number of recruitments have been made while numerous others are underway to provide manpower to the authority.
He said an exclusive helpline 1717 was established to receive people’s complaints and to this effect about 250,000 calls were received which also covered complaints regarding hate speeches. He said a number of arrests have also been made and substantial hate material confiscated so far.
Baligh-ur-Rehman said counter-terrorism force has been established in Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Federal Capital, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir to check militancy in the country.
He said hundred percent mapping of religious seminaries has been completed in Punjab, Sindh and Federal Capital while KP and Balochistan are also in the process of completing it.
He said Karachi operation was also launched after taking all the political forces into confidence. He said across the board action is being taken against terrorists which will continue till elimination of last terrorist.
Speaking on a motion moved by Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh regarding need to impart technical training to street children by launching vocational training skill programmes in the National Child Protection Centre, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman said that this centre is aimed at providing shelter to children and arranging their reunification with their family and rehabilitation. He said no child can stay permanently at the centre.
He said about 49 children are currently staying at the centre where vocational training is being provided to them.
The Minister of State said that imparting vocational and technical training to youth is need of the hour and provincial and federal governments are making all out efforts in this regard.
Baligh-ur-Rehman said over fifty thousand youth is being given vocational and technical training under Prime Minister’s Youth Training Programme.
He said the number of trainees will be enhanced to one hundred thousand next year. He said technical schools have been established three each in Islamabad, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The Senate today passed a unanimous resolution regarding enhancement of the role and powers of the Senate to protect the rights of the federating units and provide a meaningful participation to the provinces and other territories in the affairs of the federation.
It recommended equal voting rights for the provinces, irrespective of population to ensure and preserve provincial autonomy.
The provinces and other territories will be co-authors of the legislation that affects the political, economic, and cultural rights of those areas.
It recommended control and supervision over their natural resources will be exercised by the respective areas through a constitutional instruments.
The resolution urged amendment in the Constitution enabling Chief Ministers of the Provinces to address the Senate as and when invited.
It recommended that if the next Award of National Finance Commission is not announced within five years the Government shall take permission from the Senate to extend the previous award for another year.
In case of extension the Senate may increase the Award to the Provinces by one percent and in case of every extension, the Senate may further increase the Award for the Provinces by one percent annually.
The resolution said every borrowing agreement entered by the Federal Government shall be ratified by the both Houses of the Parliament.—Radio Pakistan