Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Economic Affairs held at Parliament House, Islamabad.
Event Date: 2023-03-07
A resolution to show solidarity with victims of the floods and extend gratitude towards contributions from the international community was passed in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Economic Affairs; held on Tuesday at Parliament House, Islamabad. Chaired by Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman, the meeting; was attended by Senator Naseema Ehsan, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, Senator Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Umar Farooq, Senator Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmedzai and senior officers of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) along with its attached departments and agencies. Minister EAD, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was present as well. Representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the Punjab Government were present as well.
Issues taken up entailed details of foreign funded INGOs and NGOs working in Pakistan and recommendations on the budgetary proposals of the Ministry related to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).
Deliberating over foreign funded INGOs and NGOs working in Pakistan, the Committee was of the view that all out efforts must be made to ensure that transparency of the process of confidence building between Pakistan and its friends that have stood with it in time of need may be strengthened. The Committee was assured of EADs commitment towards transparency and it said that in order to ensure this a third party audit of all donations and grants is conducted on a regular basis.
Discussing INGO policy 2013, the Committee was informed that 1220 applications were received out of which 667 were approved and 213 application were regretted. 340 applications are currently being reviewed against the new policy. Enumerating the thematic areas and the percentage awarded towards it, Chairman Committee, Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman enquired the reason for allocating a very small percentage to climate change, despite the magnanimity of the issue. It was asserted that according to the NGO Policy 2022, Climate Change will be focussed on more. The Committee was informed that in most cases donor agencies decide their main area of focus; however, EAD does possess the ability to recommend areas of need. The need for provinces to coordinate with the Centre was emphasized, since the job is made easy if projects and areas of focus are identified by the host country.
Revealing the salient features of the procedure of MOU according to the NGO Policy 2022, the Committee was informed that the whole process will be conducted online, providing all stakeholders’ complete access to documentation and other paraphernalia associated with the application. Discussing allocation of donations during the floods, the Committee directed that details of rescue and rehabilitation efforts may be submitted to the Committee. It also recommended that NDM A and PDMA (Balochistan and Sindh) may be invited for details in the next meeting. The Ministry of Interior was directed to highlight details of security issues pertaining to NGOs working in Pakistan. Representative of the Punjab Government was told to share details revocation of registrations, if any and the reasons thereof.
Discussing recommendations on the budgetary proposals of the Ministry related to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) the Committee was informed that EAD does not propose budgetary projects of its own.