Legislators advised to resolve their issues within parliament

ISLAMABAD: The retiring senators in their farewell speeches on Wednesday urged the government to strengthen parliament so that no one can dare bypassing it on the political matters.

They regretted that in majority cases, the parliament was bypassed or it itself provided room to other institutions to interfere, which in result harmed the flourishing democratic setup in the country.

Taking part in the discussion, outgoing senator from ANP Ilyas Bilour advised the government to not limit the parliament’s role to that of a post office. “I was made member of the judges appointment committee. Once the then CJP proposed a name for promotion about whom the previous CJP had remarked that he was an incompetent judge. When I raised the issue in the committee, I was told that the committee didn’t have the power to question the names proposed by the judges committee for appointments or promotions,” Bilour revealed, adding that such a toothless parliamentary committee for the appointment of judges is of no use.

Outgoing Senator from FATA Saleh Shah claimed that parameters for a person to be elected as member of the Upper House had changed lately. Those who have billions of rupees can easily get a seat in Senate, while there is almost no room for a poor political worker to get elected as senator, he lamented. “It is a tradition now that a person becomes member of the Upper House on the basis of his wealth and not ability. In the recent years, Senate elections have become more controversial than National Assembly’s due to the practice of horse-trading,” he added.

PML-Q’s Kamil Ali Agha was of the view that smaller provinces should be given resources under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) so as to remove their sense of deprivation. It is the only chance with the government to remove their apprehensions, he added.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed the amended Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2018. It provides mechanism for rehabilitation of the distressed companies, which is need of the hour for sustainable growth of the corporate sector. Its salient features are: specification of high court for rehabilitation of distressed companies; extensive plan of rehabilitation in relation to debtor; petition can be filed by qualified creditors and debtors for order of mediation; appointment of insolvency experts to mediation through sole mediators or joint mediators appointed by the court; notice of order of mediation shall be sent to all interested parties by the petitioner; appointment of administrator of the debtor and its responsibilities; plan of rehabilitation to be filed with the court; statement of affairs of debtor to be filed in court; confirmation and implementation of rehabilitation plan; dismissal of the case by the court.

The bill is a part of extensive legislative plan being made for restructuring and rehabilitation of distressed and sick corporate entities of the country with consensus of all relevant stakeholders. The first part of the legislation has already been enacted which is titled as ‘Corporate Restructuring Companies Act, 2016’ on July 1, 2016.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad moved the bill on behalf of State Minister for Finance and Revenue Rana Afzal Khan.

 Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.