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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat

Event Date: 2019-08-28

Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat in its meeting on Wednesday has specified 3 months’ time for appointment of NEPRA Chairman after the previous head of the regulator completes his term. While discussing ‘The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz the Committee reviewed the amendments sent to Law Division for opinion relating to the time period for appointment of Chairman, criteria and procedure of getting members from provinces among others and the minimum and maximum age of limit for the Chairman. Leader of the House Senator Syed Shibli Faraz recommended removing the upper age limit and leaving it open to potential candidates of any age. The Chairman Committee decided to discuss this amendment in next meeting in presence of all members. The Committee also asked law ministry to vet the bill after incorporating he amendments so that the bill can be passed in next meeting.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mehmood here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Senators Shibli Faraz, Tahir Bizenjo, Dr. Ashok Kumar, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Najma Hameed, Rubina Khalid, Seemi Ezdi, Secretary Establishment Division, Secretary CAA, Joint Secretary Energy Chairman NEPRA, DG PPRA, DG ASF and officials from the concerned departments.

Regarding the regularisation of services of contractual employees of National Institute of Management, Quetta despite approval/ratification by the BOD of National School of Public Policy, the Committee members observed that regularization policy for any and all federal government employees need to be made uniform and no discriminatory behaviour should be witnessed. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs assured the Committee that in about 45 days the regularization matters will be sorted out within the rules and prescribed framework of NSPP.

While discussing the procedure of procurement of materials, both technical and building, involved in the construction of New Islamabad international Airport as per PPRA rules and the details of assigning contracts for construction of the airport to a foreign company, the Committee observed that there have been violations of PPRA rules in excessive numbers and the project has had many flaws which can be attributed to weakness of PPRA as well as the project administration. The Committee was told by PPRA DG that new PPRA rules are being drafted and will be shared with the committee as well as all the stakeholders in about 30 days.

The Committee was given a briefing by DG ASF on the overall structure and functioning of the department and measures taken for security protocols along with the list of procurement of projects/goods/services. It was told that the country has 24 operational and 18 non-operational airports and ASF has its presence at all operational airports. The Committee was also told that process is underway of recruiting 2300 more people.

While discussing the security arrangements, the Committee recommended that like the airport premises CCTV cameras should also be installed in the aircrafts to ensure that no illegal activity takes place within the aircraft.

The Committee expressed surprise at the situation of people not getting seats despite confirmed tickets on some domestic flights and at the same time the reports of planes flying with empty seats despite people waiting at airports on chance tickets and waiting lists.