The Upper House of Parliament Thursday saw a heated debate on the state’s talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and demanded that the government put all the matter on the table. The national security institutions gave an important briefing in a meeting a day earlier at the Prime Minister’s Office. Following the meeting, the PM’s Office said negotiations with the TTP will be held as per the Constitution. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah assured that an in-camera session of the Parliament will be called to take lawmakers into confidence on the decisions related to national security. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said a session on negotiations with the TTP took place at the PM’s Office on Wednesday in which representatives of some political parties were present but not everyone was invited. “This session took decisions related to the talks with TTP. Therefore, there should be clarity and the house should be informed that which committee’s session was it?” Senator Ahmed questioned. The senator said if the session was of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) then he was a member of it and he was not invited. “Was this a session of a parliamentary committee? If not, then where does the Parliament stand on this matter?” the JI senator wondered, says a news report. Senator Ahmed added that the government had said that it will brief the Parliament on the negotiations. “What will be the use of it once the [state] finalises it themselves?” The senator slammed the government and asked whether the Parliament was mere “rubber stamp”. PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said Parliament was always used as a rubber stamp. “There will be no use of presenting the TTP agreement before the Parliament if the government finalises it as the agreement cannot be amended later,” he said. Rabbani said an in-camera session of the Parliament should be called to inform lawmakers about the terms and conditions of negotiations with the TTP. “I am surprised that we can speak to the TTP, but production orders for Ali Wazir, a member of the Parliament, could not be issued so far despite several requests,” Rabbani added. In response, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had made it clear that negotiations will be in line with the Constitution. “Talks with the TTP will be held in consultation with the Parliament and the Parliament will be part of it,” he said. Talking on the floor of the house, PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said the negotiations with TTP did not start two-and-a-half months back, but they were initiated during the previous government’s tenure. The senator noted that lawmakers were unaware when the negotiations began and between whom were they taking place. “Are negotiations taking place somewhere else or are they taking inside the country? We did not know even that, but now the details are being unveiled gradually.” “The negotiations should not be kept a secret as we are not in its favour. This is not our policy,” he added. Nearly 27 recommendations adopted: The Senate Thursday adopted 27 recommendations related to Finance Bill 2022 and proposed multiple recommendations on the public sector development program, APP reports. The recommendations on the Finance Bill, 2022 would be forwarded to National Assembly that would decide whether or not these recommendations are to be incorporated in the money bill. Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Saleem Mandviwala presented his report on the Finance Bill 2022 that was adopted by the House. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presided over the sitting. Saleem Mandviwala appreciated the role of all members of the standing committee and team of ministry for extending their support to the finance panel in preparation of the recommendations. The Senate recommended to the National Assembly that this act is against the principle of Sales Tax and Value added tax and as such sales tax should be collected from the all the sales points. However, exemption on the real small retailer i.e. with shop size of 6×6 or 6×8 non air condition retailer should be based on their electricity bill. The Senate recommended to the NA that retrospective exemption of Federal Excise Duty to Newly Merged Districts should be provided and in order to promote economic prosperity and implement the true spirit of the exemptions promised, all previously uncollected taxes on sales including electricity bills to be also exempted for the year 2019 to 2020. With the Passage of 25th Constitutional Amendment, FATA and PATA stood merged in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. A phased approached was needed for the full application of fiscal law to erstwhile Tribal/Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) therefore a decision was made to exempt all taxes which would have not applied had Article 247 of the Constitution not been omitted under the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Act, 2018. However, against the spirit of this decision, Federal Excise Duty was imposed in NDMs brining the excisable goods produced in these areas under the ambit of taxation. Furthermore, FED was also imposed on steel sector and ghee sector. The Senate recommended to the NA that the government should ensure reduction of sugar content in sodas, juices energy drinks and iced teas for better human health. The Senate recommended to NA that in (Annex-VI (Chapter 99 of Pakistan custom tariff against pct code 9942) for the words ‘special area government”, the word “Such states and territories as are or may be included in Pakistan shall be substituted.