ISLAMABAD – Along with plethora of its negative effects on the lives of peoples, the infectious Coronavirus may compel the lawmakers to chalk out strategy for approving annual federal budget without calling session of National Assembly and Senate.
The recently formed parliamentary body to oversee situation arising out of deadly virus, affecting human beings across the globe, may think widening its role to perform legislative business, if deems necessary in future.
The function of this parliamentary committee will probably start by the end of current week to thoroughly discuss the worsening situation due to novel virus in the country.
This only parliamentary body functional during Coronavirus threat, in case of a lingering crisis, has to consider about working on budgetary proposals for upcoming federal budget 2020-21, as per the impression left from the discussions with MNAs from treasury and opposition.
As the role of standing committee of both the houses [National Assembly and Senate] have stopped with the sudden suspension of parliament, the government and opposition have to reshape and reschedule important matters of parliament.
“Though the budget 2020-21 is still far, yet the parliamentary committee has to think about all possible aspects,” PTI’s chief whip of national assembly Malik Amir Dogar shared with The Nation.
Dogar said the government would take all possible positive steps to run the country smoothly in current turbulence situation.
When contacted, PML-N’s MNA Mian Javed Latif said that the government had already missed many deadlines. “Mismanagement is on its peak on all the matter, it would have to behave responsibly now,” said the prominent opposition MNA, mentioning that his party would cooperate with government for all important legislative businesses including economic issues.
PPP-P’s central information secretary Nafeesa Shah was of the view that the decision of suspending parliamentary committees by speaker national assembly was without consulting opposition parties.
“We are ready to support government for the betterment of country in the current situation but it should work with coordination,” she said , mentioning that her requests for making functional finance committee national assembly was turned down.
To a question, PPP-P’s MNA said that there was a need to make a mechanism for running standing committee of the national assembly for necessary legislation.
About unprecedented legislative business, the political and constitutional experts viewed the defined Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the National Assembly always provide some escapes to parliamentarians to take its benefits in case of uncertainties including war, floods, earthquakes.
“In such a situation, proxy voting can also be helpful for validating any important legislative business,” commented political and constitutional expert Tahir Hanfi.
The Former Speaker National Assembly Dr.Fehmida Mirza, talking to The Nation, said important legislation could also be carried out through passing ordinances in uncertain situation.
The number of COVID-19 patients reportedly in Pakistan has reached 1664 with maximum number of cases in Sidh province.
The cases in Punjab are 638, 141 in Balochitsan, 128 in AJK, 192 in KPK and 51 in federal capital. The number of cases is increasing on daily basis. As many as 28 patients have recovered and 21 confirmed deaths reported due to Coronavirus infection.