A senior Parliamentary official yesterday claimed that the lackluster attitude on the part of both the government and opposition members of parliament had contributed to the failure to pass some 30 significant Bills that would have had a direct positive impact on the country at large if passed before the dissolution the last Parliament.
A number of important Bills with direct impact on public life, the economy, politics and good governance have lapsed with the dissolution of Parliament on February 9, he said.
There must be a mechanism in Parliament that members of both sides could agree and come to a compromise on Bills with national importance and pass them on mutual consensus speedily, probably with least debate and amendments and without adjourning for months if not for years.
Party leaders in the new Parliament can draft a new standing order on this issue and pass it unanimously for the good of the country, he stressed.
The official told the Daily Mirror that about 30 Bills had been listed for debate in the order paper by the time of dissolution of Parliament on February 9.
What I can say is that both sides had a confrontational attitude towards each other and that hampered Parliamentary business to a greater extent. Both, the government side as well as the opposition were interested only on scoring a few points in debates. There were only a few constructive and useful speeches by members in the last Parliament,” the official in a virtual indictment on members of last Parliament said on condition of anonymity for obvious reasons.
He said he pray that there will be some improvement in the 7th Parliament with new faces who posses good credentials and qualifications and better understanding of the needs of the people and the country.
The government side and the opposition clashed even at the party leaders’ meeting and some times could not even agree on time allocation and selection of Bills for debate.
To make the situation more hilarious (or sad rather) Parliamentarians are to draw a salary of Rs. 97,285 -the full monthly salary- in March and April for less than 6 hours of Parliamentary business.
The Parliament was re-convened to pass the Emergency Regulations on Tuesday. Parliament business was restricted only to 31/2 hours. The Emergency Regulations are scheduled to be passed in Parliament on April 6th once again for the Month of April.
An MP draws Rs. 54,285 as the fixed salary with a fuel allowance of Rs. 30,000, Transport Allowance of Rs. 10,000, Entertainment Allowance of Rs. 1,000 and hand phone allowance of Rs. 2,000 per month in addition to Rs, 500 for every parliamentary session the member sits.
If Parliament was not re-summoned after the dissolution, an MP was entitled only to a pension of 2/3 of their fixed salary which amounts to Rs. 36,285, the official stressed.