PML-Q walkout helps govt walk away victorious
By Muhammad Anis
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House on Friday adopted recommendations on the RGST of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue amid loud protests and accusations against the Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek for bulldozing the process.
The PML-Q senators also staged a critical walkout just seconds before the chairman put the motion before the House. Ostensibly, it was in a huff against not being allowed to move a recommendation but apparently every other opposition party appeared to know the real underlying reason.
Justifying the walkout, the PML-Q leadership said that it wanted that recommendations on the RGST should not be transmitted to the National Assembly at all, as it wanted to press upon the Lower House through the recommendation that it should not pass the RGST Bill. “We are walking out of the House as our recommendation has not been given any consideration,” PML-Q’s leader Wasim Sajjad said.
Earlier, as the chairman directed the Standing Committee Chairman Ahmad Ali to table the report regarding the recommendations on the two bills, members from the opposition parties and the government allies stood up on their seats and started their protest.
Wasim Sajjad said first his Notice for Proposal, which he had submitted with the chair on Thursday, should be taken up for voting. He said that he had proposed that the recommendations should not be forwarded to the National Assembly and the assembly should also be recommended not to pass the RGST Bill.
Leader of the House Nayyar Bokhari and Law Minister Dr Babar Awan opposed the move. “The House has received the recommendations from the standing committee and should be transmitted to the National Assembly as it is,” Babar Awan said while referring to the Constitution and certain rules of the Conduct of Business of the House.
He said the senators could not tell the National Assembly that a Money Bill like the RGST Bill should not be passed. “We have to go ahead with order of the day, which is to adopt recommendations of the standing committee,” he said.
In the meantime, Farooq Naek continued to direct the chairman of the standing committee Ahmad Ali to lay reports of the committee on the RGST Bill and Finance (Amendment) Bill. “I will ask somebody else to lay the reports if you are not doing so,” he said.
Naek said he would give a ruling on minority recommendations and proposals only after the report was laid. Ahmad Ali laid two reports in the House when pressed by the chair.Chairman Farooq Naek dashed the hopes of the opposition and the government allies by saying in his ruling that no recommendation could be entertained at this stage.
When Senate Chairman Farooq Naek read out a part of the report of the standing committee on theRGST Bill, Wasim Sajjad and Chaudhry Shujaat announced that they were walking out, as their proposal had not been given any consideration. “We will not become a part of the process to adopt recommendations,” Wasim Sajjad said.
Source: The News