NA body considers Elections (Amendment) Act, 2017, briefed on various matters


ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs met under the chairpersonship of MNA Dr Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal on Monday, to discuss the proposed agenda.

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs secretary briefed the committee regarding the comprehensive report/implementation status of the previous recommendations of the committee. He said that the ministry had compliance on the directions of the committee and also sent letters to the concerned department for implementation on the direction of the committee.

The committee considered The Elections (Amendment) Act, 2017 moved by MNA Naeema Kishwer Khan. After detailed deliberation on the bill, the committee directed the ministry to provide more details at the next meeting.

The secretary also briefed the committee about the status of encashment of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) tickets to the parliamentarians. After discussion, the committee directed that Rs 3 lacs (without any deduction) should be given to the parliamentarians instead of vouchers and also recommended that the number of tickets should be increased from 20 to 30.

PIA acting chairman briefed the committee about the profits made by Roosevelt Hotel in New York during the last year. He informed the committee that Roosevelt Hotel revenue for the year 2016 was $96.450 million and profit figure was $1.540 million. He said that Aviation Division had no plans to sell Roosevelt Hotel.  He further said that experts/professionals proposed leasing Roosevelt Hotel for a period of 30-40 years to earn more profit.

The committee showed annoyance on the above proposal and strongly recommended that Roosevelt Hotel should not be given on lease at any cost.  The committee also decided to invite the PIA CEO to brief the committee about the suspension/cancellation of flights/routes to New York.

Ministry of Housing and Works joint secretary briefed the committee regarding the budget and maintenance of government rest houses. He informed that at present Ministry of Housing and Works/Pakistan Public Works Development was not maintaining any rest house. He also provided details of lodges, hostels and family suites working under the Ministry of Housing and Works. The committee directed Ministry of Housing and Works to provide details of the officers residing in lodges, hostel and family suites in Islamabad at the next meeting.

MNAs Malik Ihtebar Khan, Dr Nisar Ahmad Jatt, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Chaudhry Salman Haneef Khan, Arifa Khalid Parvez, Shazia Sobia, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak and Naeema Kishwer Khan attended the meeting. The meeting was also attended by senior officers of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Law & Justice, Housing and Works, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and PIA.