Govt seeks consensus on new NAB law.


Byline: Syed Irfan Raza

ISLAMABAD -- As the sessions of the Senate and National Assembly have been convened on Wednesday (today), the federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to incorporate suggestions of the opposition by addressing its concerns over the newly promulgated National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019 so that the law could be passed from the two houses of parliament with consensus.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference that the cabinet had decided to get the NAB's amended ordinance passed by the two houses. 'We do not want to implement NAB ordinance by force as the law is going to parliament for debate where opposition's concerns will be addressed,' she added.

She said the government acknowledged the role of the opposition in the passage of the NAB ordinance as it [the opposition] was in majority in the Senate.

Dr Awan said the cabinet had endorsed the prime minister's stance that he would not retreat on the new NAB ordinance and hoped that it would provide ease to the business community and would pave the way for progress and economic stability in the country.

'Although it was a long-standing demand of the opposition to change controversial NAB ordinance, the credit goes to Prime Minister Imran Khan who did it. Now instead of appreciating the prime minister, the opposition is engaged in point scoring over the issue,' she added.

'For the law to be passed through the Senate, it is important for the opposition to come on board. But the government will not bulldoze this entire process to forcefully implement the law,' she said, adding that apparently the opposition was criticising the government but internally it was enjoying the slashing of NAB powers that would also benefit the opposition leaders facing NAB cases.

The cabinet in its meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Khan, approved a new social welfare programme - Financial Assistance Cards Scheme [FACS] - for providing monetary assistance to the poor. Mr Khan will launch the scheme on Jan 20.

The cabinet also formed a committee to solve problems confronting the growers and industrialists associated with sugar and cotton industries. The first meeting of the committee will be held on Wednesday.

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