Parties to get standing committees’ chairmanship as per parliamentary strength

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DNA

ISLAMABAD: The opposition and treasury benches Thursday reached an understanding that the parliamentary parties would get chairmanships of standing committees according to their numerical strength in the National Assembly.

This was decided during a meeting of chief whips of all the parties presided by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Nevertheless, the NA speaker will make a final decision regarding this understanding next week as the opposition has sought time for consultations on choosing committees for chairmanship.

Shazia Marri, Malik Amir Dogar, Mujahid Khan, Naveed Qamar, Aijaz Jakhrani, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Gul Asfar Khan, Noor Alam Khan, Zain Hussain Qureshi, Aminul Haq, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Hafeezuddin, and Moin Aamir were among those present during the meeting.

Sources claimed that a decision was made to assign the head of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the opposition and the treasury benches would be given the parliamentary committee on Kashmir. To lead the PAC, the opposition leader would select a member from among its members. 

Additionally, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would chair 13 standing committees, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the independents backed by the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) would chair eight of the standing committees each, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) would chair two, and Istehkam-e-Pakistan (IPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) would chair one apiece. The chairmanships of the standing committees would not go to the smaller parliamentary parties.

The sources said the MQM-P decided to reapproach the PML-N to seek chairmanship of three bodies instead of two.

The forum also decided the NA rules for proceedings and settled upon allocation of days for the motion of thanks on presidential speech, budget session and calendar for the parliamentary year. It was resolved at the meeting that the business advisory body would be named by the opposition and the government. The NA is scheduled to meet on April 29, Monday.

The meeting decided that the motion of thanks would be discussed in the session, which would begin on May 13, 2024. Five days would be given for discussion, and each sitting would last for five hours. Members would get 10 minutes each to speak, but the parliamentary leaders would be given more time.

A member of the opposition and a member of the government would speak on a motion of thanks on the first two days. From the third day, two members of the government and one of the opposition benches would be given permission to speak. Sources said the government and the opposition also reached an understanding for the budget session, which would likely be held from June 6 to 28. The assembly session would be held on Saturday as well, and there would be a six-day break for Eidul Adha. There would be no question hour during the budget session, and winding up of general discussion on budget would be held on June 21, and discussion on the charged expenditure would be held on June 22, cut motions would be taken up from June 24 to 25, consideration and passage of finance bill would be on June 26, and supplementary grants would be taken up on June 27.