Senate passes Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill amid protest -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Senate passes Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill amid protest

ALI HUSSAIN

ISLAMABAD: Finally the Senate passed the long-awaited Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill 2010 in the form of Act amid protest walkout of the opposition parties on Wednesday. The Bill moved by Advisor to the Prime Minister, Nawabzada Ghazanfar Ali Gul to provide relief to those employees who were dismissed, removed, terminated from service or forcibly offered golden shake hand during the period from November 1, 1996 to October 12, 1999, was passed by the House with majority.

However, the opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), PML-Q and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) staged walk out from the House against what they termed the passage of the Bill as to bulldoze the House with the treasury majority on important legislation.

The opposition members were of the views that the bill should be referred to the concerned committee of the House prior to its passage for further deliberations while the government, turning down the demand, termed it as to delay the significant legislation which relates to poor and middle class of the country who have been sacked or dismissed from their jobs on political basis.

The National Assembly has already passed the bill and now with the passage of the Senate, it shall be called “The Sacked Employees Reinstatement Act, 2010 and extends to the whole of Pakistan and into force at once.

It will provide relief to those employees who were appointed in corporation service or autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies or in government service during the period from November 1, 1993 to November 30, 1996 and were dismissed, removed, terminated from the service or forcibly offered golden shake hand during the period from November 1, 1996 to October 12, 1999. Speaking on floor of the House, PML-N’s Ishaq Dar, opposed the bill terming it individual specific law saying that there was ‘mala fide’ agenda behind the five times promulgation of the Ordinance.

He said it was not fair that a democratic government to overturn the judgement of the higher judiciary. He sought the Bill to be referred to the Finance Committee of the House for further deliberations before its passage. Another PML-N Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah also opposed the bill saying that the PML-N was not anti-worker party but the bill should be sent to the committee for further deliberations.

He said if the coalition government bulldozes the proceedings with ‘brutal’ majority, it will harm the system and reconciliation policy of the government. JI’s Professor Khurshid Ahmad while opposing the bill termed it against the provisions of law saying that if relief was to be given to the poor then all those that had been removed in the past regimes irrespective of PML-N and PML-Q should also be reinstated.

He said that the bill was also against the rules with the fact that it provides relief to both those who have been terminated and sacked while there is difference between the two. He was of the views that the bill is to provide relief to those who had been appointed on favouritism and nepotism. PML-Q’s chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain also sought the Bill to be referred to the concerned committee of the House. While the government’s allied parties including MQM, ANP, JWP and JUI-F supported the bill.

Earlier, Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mian Raza Rabbani said that there was no need to refer the bill to the committee saying that it has already been discussed in National Assembly before passage. He called for passage of the Bill without further delay. He said that the sacked employees who come from lower and middle class had also knocked the doors of the courts but the previous Musharraf regime did not implement the Supreme Court judgement in favour of them.

Leader of the House, Nayyar Hussain Bokhari said that all sacked employees were politically victimised and targeted and the demand of referring the bill to the standing committee was meant to delay the legislation. However, the House passed the bill with majority, as the opposition parties staged walk out from the House.

Others who spoke in support of the bill include Shahid Hassan Bughti of JWP, Haji Adeel of the ANP, Tahir Mashhadi, Abdul Malik, Zahid Khan, Maulana Gul Naseeb and backed the bill. The house also passed the “The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2010. Under the new law, the federal government may increase or decrease the number of members of the commission and prescribe the qualifications and mode of appointment in such manner as it may deem appropriate.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:11/11/2010