Parliamentary special committees fail to resolve public issues


Parliamentary special committees formed to tackle issues such as law and order, petroleum prices and energy crisis have failed miserably in resolving them as law and order, particularly in Karachi is not under control, petroleum prices have jumped to a record high and people are on the roads against load shedding.
In some cases, the special committees of parliament did not even meet for months, let alone discuss the issues and resolve them.
National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza on August 28, 2011 formed a Special Committee on Law and Order situation in Karachi (Sindh) and Quetta (Balochistan).
The speaker had formed the special committee in pursuance of the motion moved in the National Assembly and unanimously adopted by the House on August 12, 2011. The special committee was mandated to look into the law and order in Karachi and Quetta and report to the House with recommendations within two months. However, except for some initial meetings, the committee never met and the issue got worst.
The speaker formed a Special Committee to Review the Present Prices of Petroleum Products on February 15 to review the then prices of petroleum products.
The committee was mandated to review the prices of petroleum products within one week. It was after the opposition raised hue and cry over the increase in petroleum prices that the government announced to form the committee but no recommendations came after the passage of more than one month. The recent increase in the petroleum prices have put the prices to a record high leaving the general public and transporters to protests.
A special 17-member NA panel was formed in October last year to suggest steps to overcome power crisis after the opposition parties went on weeklong protest in the National Assembly on prolonged power outages and called for setting up of a special committee of the National Assembly to look into the causes of energy crisis and suggest measures to overcome it.
The government accepted the proposal and the House adopted a motion to form a special committee for the purpose. The committee was supposed to submit its report before the next session of the National Assembly starting from November 14 but no progress in this regard has been witnessed so far.
The NA speaker has so far formed around 11 special committees of the House on different subjects, these include Special Committee on Delay in All Flights including Haj Flights and Grounding of the Aircrafts of Pakistan International Airlines, Special Committee on Law and Order in Karachi (Sindh) and Quetta (Balochistan), Special Committee on Millennium Development Goals, Special Committee on Petroleum Prices, Special Committee to Investigate the Issue of Threatening Messages Being Received by the Journalists and Media Personnel, Special Committee to Look into the Matter of Delay in Construction Work on Gandhi Dera Ismail Khan Road, Special Committee to Look into the Reasons Leading to the Current Power Crisis in the Country and Propose Steps to Alleviate the Power Shortage and Special Committee To Oversee the Implementation of Resolutions of All Parties Conference.
Out of these committees hardly a few completed the task assigned to them and the remaining did not met since months leaving the question mark on the credibility of the parliament and the government itself.