Senate held its second sitting of 276th session on Tuesday at 3 P.M with Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani in the chair.
The Question Hour of today’s sitting had a total of 11 questions on its list. Out of 11 Questions seven questions were discussed and responded to by the Ministers In-Charge, three questions were laid on table due to absence of moving member while one question was deferred on request of the mover. Today’s questions related to the ministries of Interior, Railways and Information & Broadcasting.
Two adjournment motions on subjects of appointment of Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s Ambassador to US, recent devaluation in Pakistani Rupee which has increased inflation moved by Senators Muhammad Azam Swati, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Dr. Mehr Taj, Samina Saeed, Mohsin Aziz were considered for admissibility. Both motions were decided to be inadmissible by the Chair.
Minister for Law Basheer Virk laid before the House The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 (Ordinance No. II of 2018). Former Chairman Senate, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani pointed out that the Ordinance was promulgated on February 9, 2018 and was required under Article 89 of Constitution and Rule 145 of the Rules of Procedure of Senate to be laid in the Parliament in the first sitting of either House. He said that the government is responsible to explain why it wasn’t done so. Chairman reserved his ruling on the matter and referred the Ordinance to the Standing Committee concerned. Minister of Law also laid before the House The Annual Report of the National Economic Council for the Financial Year 2016-17.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Senator Sherry Rehman drew the attention of Minister of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs towards the decline in foreign reserves of the country at the rate of 200-250 million USD per week. She observed that foreign reserves are falling for 16 successive weeks at a rate of 1.48 %. Minister for Finance responded to the calling attention notice and said that the government is trying to build reserves and there is no calling for panic.
The House in its sitting today unanimously elected the members of Senate House Committee and Senate Finance Committee on a motion by Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition.
As part of the celebrations of Constitution Day, Chairman Senate invited interested members to take part in discussion marking the historic day. Members participated in discussion and stressed upon the need of widening the scope of celebration from Parliamentarians to the public. Members also appreciated the incumbent Chairman on taking the legacy of erstwhile Chairman Senate forward and following the precedents set in the previous tenure of celebrating these historic days. Senators highlighted the need of maintaining supremacy of this document and protecting the sanctity of the Constitution.
Senate will now meet again on Wednesday 11th April, 2018 at 3 P.M.