ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, the government successfully passed three bills from the Senate. The opposition parties, once again, were limited to being mere protestors as they fell short in their efforts to resist the passing of the said bills.
Of the three bills, two legislations were regarding Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). One bill aimed to bypass public hearings and give Ogra the permission to alter the rates. While the other aimed to change the gas prices by foreseeing the SNGPL and SNGCL’s revenue needs. A demand for a review by the standing committee was made by the opposition, but federal ministers said the committee has already passed the bills unanimously.
The motion was then presented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Muhammad Khan. Pakistan Peoples Party leader Yousuf Raza Gilani asked for assurance from the government to consider the changes proposed by the opposition, on which the Minister Science and Technology Shibli Faraz agreed.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan of Jamaat-I-Islami lashed out at the government and said that both bills were presented under the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) conditions. Faraz responded that the government wanted the empowerment of the regulatory authority, and both legislations had no connection with the IMF and the Council of Common Interest (CCI).
Sherry Rehman, PPP Senator, showed dissatisfaction over the presenting of bills in Senate if they had already been passed. She added such action takes away the rights of provinces.
The two legislations halted and the Allied Health Professionals Council bill was presented, which was unanimously passed. The Ogra bills were then presented again, over which the opposition walked out. At the request of Dr Shahzad Waseem, the motion was taken for consideration, and both bills were passed in the opposition’s absence.