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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, Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-09-01

The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Friday took serious notice of the hike in electricity prices, across the country. Chairman Committee Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad said that this a National crisis and many cases of suicide on it has been reported lately in the country. While addressing the chairman NEPRA, the Senate  Committee submit proposal to withdraw all taxes on electricity bills, in particular of the under privileged class. The committee chair also sought briefing by the Chairman NEPRA on the mechanisms through which rapid increase in electricity rates are applied and send recommendations for its reconsideration. The committee also sought details on the owners of the IPP. The committee was of the view that it is National dilemma and the people of Pakistan are critically suffering due to severe economic crisis therefore relief should be given to the people.

The committee sought details on the recent cases of casualties and injuries caused by electrocution and domestic substandard electrical wiring in the country and measures adopted to avoid the fatal incident. The committee lamented that scores of cases are pending in the tribunal and no compensation are being made to the effectees. It was briefed that total 164 fatalities in DISCOs have occurred during FY 2022-23 whereas 106 non fatal injuries took place. The committee chair gave recommendations to expedite disposal of pending cases.

Earlier in the meeting, the committee discussed at length the details of achievement of each awardee of National Awards 2023 as per their citation. Joint Secretary Awards Cabinet Division, informed the committee that the awards are being distributed in different fields such as Act of Bravery, Work of Distinction or exceptional Performance by individuals who played their role in organizations like FATF, Scientific Organizations and Security Agencies. He said that the nominating agencies are all federal ministries and divisions and also includes six provincial and regional governments. It was also briefed that President of Pakistan has approved 708 Civil Awards upon Foreign and Pakistani Nationals for the year 2023. The Chairman Committee emphasized that the matter is of national interest and therefore, the committee directed that an exclusive presentation on the awards be given in the subsequent meeting.

The Committee also expressed reservations on the delay of the proposed law amendment in Pakistan Penal Code 1860 regarding enhancement of punishment on violations of illegal companies. Chairman OGRA apprised the committee that the Interior Ministry is not cooperating on the matter. The Chairman Committee urged the interior ministry to avoid deliberate delay on this crucial issue.

The meeting was attended by Kamil Ali Agha, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Gurdeep Singh, Senator Naseebullah Bazai, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Syed Waqar Mehdi, Chairman NEPRA Waseem Mukhtar, Chairman OGRA Masroor Khan and other senior officers of Cabinet Division and relevant departments were also in attendance.