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NAB Ordinance to be replaced: Information Minister
08-28-2008, 09:41 AM
Post: #1
NAB Ordinance to be replaced: Information Minister
Cabinet allows OGRA to regulate CNG prices; current Pakistan Standard Time to continue till October 31
By Asim Yasin
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Wednesday decided to repeal the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance and replace it with a new act, which will be presented before parliament soon.

"The cabinet has set up a committee, headed by the law minister, to present its recommendations to the cabinet on repealing the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance and promulgation of a law in lieu thereof," said Information Minister Sherry Rehman while briefing newsmen on the cabinet decisions.

The committee comprises ministers for defence, information, finance and advisers to Ministries of Industries, Interior, and Religious Affairs, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and the minister for housing.

The interesting aspect of the composition of the committee is that five of its members -- Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Finance Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, Adviser to Ministry of Industries Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Adviser to Interior Ministry Rehman Malik and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Salman Farooqi – were detained under the NAB Ordinance. Three of them i.e. the defence minister, the finance minister and the adviser to the Ministry of Industries were acquitted by the NAB courts while the other three benefited from the controversial NRO.

Sherry Rehman said that the prospective legislation would ensure across-the-board accountability in the true spirit of the Charter of Democracy and the Article 25 of the Constitution. She said the cabinet also approved the Criminal Procedure Court (Amendment Bill 2008), which provides that the prisoners sentenced to death by the Session Court will not be lodged in the death cells unless their sentence is upheld by a high court or the Supreme Court in case of appeal.

In another major decision, the cabinet also approved the regulatory authority duty on import of more than 350 non-essential and luxury items such as expensive vehicles, certain category of food items and jewelry, etc.

She said in pursuance of the cabinet decision of June 4, 2008, the federal cabinet approved the bill for the regularisation of BPS 1-15 contract employees. The decision covers the employees from Fata.

The cabinet also approved amendment to the OGRA Ordinance, authorising it to regulate the prices of CNG for vehicles in the country. Besides, she said, the cabinet decided that the current Pakistan Standard Time will continue until October 31, 2008. Approval was also accorded to the summary of the Ministry of Sports to initiate negotiations with Vietnam for signing an agreement for cooperation in the field of sports. The cabinet approved the extension life of Pak-Libya Holding Company for another 30 years.

The Pak-Libya Holding Company has provided long-term and short-term assistance to various sectors, which had a favourable impact on the country's economy.

The cabinet was informed that the prime minister's housing development programme has attracted an investment of US$10 billion. The government has already signed an MoU with an international company that will be investing in the construction of one million houses in Pakistan under this scheme.

She said the government realised the problem of load-shedding and this particular issue had already been discussed by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to give relief to consumers during Ramadan.

To a question about the availability of essential items during Ramzan, she said the Economic Monitoring Committee (EMC) would announce a package in this regard.

Answering a question, the minister said Co-chairman Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari was not only exonerated by the Swiss court but his assets were also released which proved he was innocent.

Replying to another question, the minister said, "the news report about Asif Zardari originated from the United Kingdom and the US has nothing to do with it." The Pakistan high commissioner to the UK has already clarified the report, she added.

The minister said such media trials could not affect the election campaign of Asif Zardari and added that the PPP's Central Executive Committee (CEC) had invited Zardari in the name of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to accept this post.

Sherry said there was nothing unusual about the telephonic contact between Asif Zardari and Khalilzad as such interactions at the international level were a matter of routine.

To a query about former president Pervez Musharraf, she said the present government did not believe in witch-hunt. She reminded that the PPP did not take any action against the remnants of Ziaul Haq who were involved in the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

She said that new appointments in government institutions would be made after the finalisation of policy framework in this regard.
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