NAB, election bills returned by Alvi sail through parliament’s joint sitting

Bills will be deemed passed if president again does not sign in 10 days

Picture source - PTV Parliament

The parliament’s joint session passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which were sent back by President Dr. Arif Alvi.

The bill on elections abolished the usage of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during elections, while the bill pertaining to NAB, inter-alia, put forth a post-retirement process for its chairman.

Both the bills were presented by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarrar, which the president had sent back to Prime Minister Shehbaz as he was not informed about the legislative proposal under Article 46 of the constitution before it was moved in the parliament.

The bill, following the approval of the joint sitting, will be sent to the president again, and if he does not sign them within 10 days, they will deemed to have been given assent as per Article 75(2) of the constitution.

Tarrar criticised the accountability watchdog for keeping people in detention for long periods of time and invoked Islam to argue that the one who blamed another person had the burden of proving the allegation.

He added that they had sent the NAB law to the Islamic Ideological Council, which Tarrar said had made the same observation about the onus of proof being on the one who made the accusation.

Tarrar said that the accountability watchdog was used for ‘political engineering’.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly on Thursday passed the Export-Import Bank of Pakistan Bill [2022] with the goal of establishing a facility to aid international trade.

The bill was tabled by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha.

The statement of objects and reasons say that the government had engaged in several measures for the promotion and development of international trade as well as export-focused and import-substituting industries in the national economic interest.

The statement further said that the government intended to create the Export-Import Bank of Pakistan as the national export credit agency in order to promote, expand, and diversify international trade.

The Export-Import Bank would help in the provision of credit, guarantee and insurance products as well as ancillary services to importers and exporters in the form of a statutory corporation that had the government behind it as is the custom for export credit agencies.