National Accountability Bureau to be Turned into a Commission

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will be converted into National Accountability Commission (NAC). The Parliamentary committee is giving final touches to the draft bill in this regard.

The information was shared by Minister for Law, Zahid Hamid, during a session of the National Assembly on Tuesday without giving further contours of the commission.

A twenty member parliamentary committee was formed in January this year to revisit the National Accountability Ordinance. It comprises 13 members of National Assembly and seven senators. The committee was formed after the NAB came under severe criticism from different quarters especially over its plea bargain.

The law minister said the legislation is also on the cards to introduce amendments in article 184(3) of the Constitution in order to include the provision of appeal in it. He said no provincial government has the prerogative to repeal to the federal accountability law.

Other Bills

Different bills were laid before the House on Monday including The Criminal Law (Amendment) 2017, The Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (Amendment of article 5)

The Chairperson referred the bills to the standing committees concerned for further deliberations.

Kalabagh Dam Woes

Meanwhile, the issue of construction of Kalabagh dam once again echoed in the lower house with Minister for Water Resources Syed Javed Ali Shah stating that Kalabagh Dam will only be constructed only after a consensus is reached.

Responding to the points raised by different members, he said once the consensus is developed, the issue will not be allowed to be politicized.

He said that rejecting the project on the basis of prejudice will be enmity against the country. Some other members of the PML (N) also seconded the words of the minister saying the project is a lifeline for the country and it should be constructed. However, the lawmakers from the PPP strongly opposed the construction of the dam describing it as a dead issue.

Employee Accommodation for Constitutional Bodies

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Khalida Mansoor and others, Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and works Sajid Mehdi told the House that a summary has been sent to the Prime Minister for approval for allotment of government accommodation to the employees of constitutional bodies including those of National Assembly Secretariat, Senate, Election Commission and the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He said the government is aware of the difficulties faced by the employees of constitutional bodies and these will be addressed.