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Event Title: Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed Presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat at Parliament House

Event Date: 2023-07-27

The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, under the chairmanship of Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, convened on Thursday for a comprehensive discussion on "The ToshaKhana (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2023." The bill, which had undergone an amendment ( section 8 insertion of new section 8-A in the ToshaKhana (Management and Regulation) Act, 2022 I.e utilization of funds from disposal of gifts) proposed by Senator Taj Haider, was also unanimously passed by the Committee. Notably, the House had also approved Senator Taj Haider's amendment, which will now be incorporated into the bill.

The Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs expressed reservations about supporting Senator Taj Haider's amendment. In contrast, the Committee, after careful consideration, favoured the proposed amendment, acknowledging its significance in improving the bill.

The efforts and valuable contributions of Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi in formulating “The Tosha Khana ( Management and Regulation) Bill, 2022 ( private member bill)  were highly appreciated by both the Committee and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Consequently, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi's contributions were included in the "Statement of Object" of the Bill.

Earlier, the Committee commenced its session by deliberating on both versions of the bill: the "Tosha Khana (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2022" (a private member bill introduced by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi) and the "Tosha Khana (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2023" (an Official Bill). Senator Tangi, as the Sponsor of the Bill, explained that the primary intent behind introducing the bill was to address gaps and deficiencies in the current system and to further refine the regulations governing Tosha Khana.

During the discussion, Senator Zuberi raised concerns about the vagueness of the government bill and the lack of clarity in the Ministry's definition of "gifts." She proposed the closure of Tosha Khana and the auctioning of precious items housed within it. In response, the Chairman Committee emphasized the importance of thoroughly reviewing the government bill before making any decisions.

To streamline the process, the Secretary of Parliamentary Affairs recommended merging both bills and requested a detailed comparison of their contents. Chairman Committee stressed that, in the event of a merger, Senator Tangi's bill should take precedence over the government bill. He further suggested that Senator Tangi and the Ministry engage in a clause-wise review of the bill together to ensure clarity. Any recommendations from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs would be incorporated into Senator Tangi's sponsored bill, subject to further deliberation.

After extensive discussions, the Chairman Committee requested Senator Tangi to seek legal advice on the appropriate attribution of the merged bill. The Committee also took note of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs' observation that Senator Tangi's bill lacked any mention of governors and their family members in the provided definition.

Ultimately, after hours of careful consideration and deliberation, the Committee unanimously passed "The Tosha Khana (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2023" (Official Bill) with a few amendments.

The meeting was attended by Senators Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Khalida Ateeb, Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Syed Waqar Mehdi and Bahramand Khan Tangi. Additional Secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and other relevant officials also participated.