Senate grieves rupee devaluation, petrol and IOK

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – April 10, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Senate on Monday discussed a motion on ‘recent’ devaluation of Pakistani rupee by five percent ‘in-addition’ to sharp devaluation in December 2017, the upper house grieved the phenomena will have “a very negative impact on the economy,” will make the imports more expensive.

According to an official statement, state minister for finance Rana Muhammad Afzal, hailing from Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz (PML-N), responded, “Devaluation was need of the hour based on a number of indicators.”

On the taxes levied on petroleum products, in a motion moved by jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) senators Siraj-ul-Haq and Mushtaq Ahmed, members of the upper house compared international petroleum prices with those that are prevalent today.

Senate passed a unanimous resolution condemning the Indian atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK). Opposition leader senator Sherry Rehman, hailing from Pakistan people’s party parliamentarian (PPP-P), presented the resolution condemning the escalation of Indian state-sponsored violence in Shopayan and Islamabad districts of IOK which has left scores of people killed and injured.

The resolution urged the international community, Islamic world, organisation of Islamic cooperation (OIC), United Nations (UN), human rights organisations and watchdogs to denounce Indian state’s blatant violation of UN charter and resolutions.

Senate recommended to the government to “appoint a special envoy to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums” and to take all necessary steps in this regard.

Former senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, hailing from PPP-P, on a point of order raised a matter of breach of privilege of the parliament when the president Mamnoon Hussain on April 8th, 2018, promulgated “four ordinances” while being well aware of the fact that both houses of the parliament have already been summoned and that too by Hussain himself who happens to be a part of the legislature.

The four ordinances promulgated have not even been put before the cabinet which is a requirement under rules, he added and held that the supreme court (SC) in a judgement has forbidden the prime minister (PM) to take solo decisions on behalf of the cabinet.

Rabbani observed that the ordinances did not have prior approval of the cabinet and hence are not valid and are ultra vires to the judgement.

State minister for finance Afzal told the upper house that approval of cabinet was taken by means of circulation and the ordinances are to come to the parliament for final passage and to become an act.

Opposition leader Rehman along-with senator Azam Khan Swati, hailing from Pakistan tehreek-e-insaf (PTI), supported the point of order and requested for referral of the matter to the privileges committee.

The right to free and compulsory education (amendment) bill, 2018 was moved by senator Samina Saeed, hailing from PTI, and was subsequently referred to the standing committee concerned.

The motion to discuss Pakistan’s “deteriorating healthcare system” was moved by the opposition leader Rehman and was discussed by members of all four provinces, they highlighted the need of allocating more budget to healthcare and making it a priority.

Senate passed three resolutions including on the recommendation to allocate funds in public sector development programme (PSDP) for opening of new passport offices in all provinces, reducing prices of life saving drugs, recommending to the government to implement the aaghaz-e-haqooq-e-Balochistan (AHB) package in letter and spirit.

This was the first sitting of 276th session of senate under the chairmanship of senator Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, hailing from an independent seat, on Monday. The upper house is scheduled to meet again today.