Govt amends NAB laws through ordinance


–Federal cabinet approves promulgation of seven more ordinances, including benami transaction act

–Law minister says amended CPC to ensure speedy justice in civil cases 

–Govt allows armed forces to install solar power products at military establishments on BoT basis


ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved promulgation of eight ordinances, including the amendments to NAB Ordinance 1999 and Benami Transaction Act 2017, to “uplift the living standard of the common man”.

“It is a defining moment for Pakistan as the federal cabinet has approved eight laws of public interest,” Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem said while addressing a press conference.

Flanked by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Naseem said the laws included The Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates, The Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Ordinance 2019, The Benami Transaction (Prohibition) (Amendment) Ordinance 2019, The Superior Courts (Courts Dress and Mode of Address) Order (Repeal) Ordinance, 2019, The National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2019, Legal Aid and Justice Authority Ordinance, 2019 and ordinances related to the Whistle Blower Act and amendments in the Civil Procedure Code.

He said the succession certificate will be issued within 15-20 days and the process will be carried out through fingerprints.

“The identity of the whistle-blower will be kept secret and full protection will be ensured in this regard,” he said, adding that if any recovery is made, up to 20 per cent of the recovered amount will be given to the whistle-blower.

According to the amendment in the NAB Ordinance 1999, a suspect facing corruption charges of Rs50 million will be provided C class facilities in the jail. The suspect would also be entitled for the same class facilities during trial and investigation of the charges.

Naseem said the amendments in the Civil Procedural Code (CPC) would ensure speedy and expeditious justice for masses who had been enduring year-long lawsuits in civil courts.

The provision of speedy justice is the only way forward to change the status quo, prevailing in the country, he added.

Taking the stage,  SAPM Firdous Ashiq Awan said that during the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned to take steps for making sure the availability of items of daily use to people at affordable prices.

She said the cabinet was briefed that a pilot project in this regard is being launched in the federal capital to ensure direct contact between farmers and general public and abolishing the role of middleman. She said this will help people to get various items at affordable rates. She said the cabinet gave an approval to a proposal to provide National Accountability Bureau the required record by establishment division.

The cabinet also accorded approval to proposal of armed forces for installation of solar power products at various installations and establishments of army on BoT basis.

Firdous said the cabinet gave approval to disburse loans of Rs5 billion without interest in Naya Pakistan Housing Program. The loans from Rs0.1m to 1m will be given without any interest. This will benefit 500,000 to one million people. The payment schedule is from 1 to 4 years and preference will be given to widows.

The cabinet also approved an agreement regarding codal formalities of the agreement signed regarding visitors to Kartarpur Corridor.

The prime minister was briefed by various ministries on measures taken to facilitate the common man. Ministry of Communication apprised the meeting that it is engaging 35,000 youth for internships.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet also approved Kartarpur Corridor agreement between Pakistan and India to facilitate Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib shrine in Pakistan. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the corridor on 9th of the next month on the eve of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

Establishment Division informed that it is considering a proposal to make it mandatory for promotions of civil servants that what steps they have taken to facilitate people during their tenure at a place.

Ministry of Narcotics Control informed that it has initiated an app to spread awareness on drug abuse and narcotics. Ministry of Human Rights informed that it is launching an awareness campaign regarding abuse of children at various places.

Replying to a question, Firdous said the issue of the medical condition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is being misused by his party members.

She expressed regret that language and statements laden with conspiracy theories will not serve the narrative of PML-N.

Firdous said the narrative of opposition parties that foreign investment to the country has declined due to crackdown on corruption is wrong. Rather, it is a welcoming sign that serious action is being taken against corruption.