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Govt seeks clarity on PSEs board


ISLAMABAD:

The government will file a reference in the Supreme Court relating to the bar on the appointment of parliamentarians on the board of directors of state-owned public sector entities.

During the last several meetings of the cabinet, its members had been discussing that parliamentarians should be on the board of directors of state-run public sector companies.

However, the Law and Justice Division raised objections to the appointment of parliamentarians on the board of directors of state enterprises.

Now, the government has decided to file a reference in the Supreme Court to seek clarity on the issue.

During discussion on a case that pertained to filing the reference in the Supreme Court under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek clarity on the bar on parliamentarians’ appointment on the board of directors of public sector entities, the minister for law and justice said that the draft reference was ready but requested a separate meeting with the prime minister to discuss certain issues prior to its filing.

A member of the cabinet was of the opinion that in most cases the relevant laws provided for board membership of parliamentarians and due to the apprehension of the Law Division that it might attract disqualification under Article 63, the positions were lying vacant, rendering the boards not functional.

Implementation of cabinet decisions

Briefing the forum on implementation status of its decisions, the Cabinet Division informed that 141 cabinet meetings had been held during the tenure of the present government, wherein 3,776 decisions in total were taken.

Out of these, 3,444 had been implemented, 66 were under process, 142 related to MoUs awaiting approval/ratification by partner governments and 123 were delayed beyond 90 days.

The status of 23 most important delayed decisions was presented to the cabinet members.

International litigation

It was informed that the cabinet had directed the Law Division and Attorney General for Pakistan to devise a comprehensive strategy to avoid international litigations and the financial liabilities accrued in consequence, but the decision had not yet been implemented. The minister for law informed that work on International Law Cell had been done with the support of the Attorney General Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Division and National Security Adviser but needed to be finalised.

The members underscored the importance of having a structure and necessary expertise to effectively deal with international litigations. It was stressed that the strategy be finalised and presented in the cabinet meeting. The Aviation Division informed that work on converting Skardu Airport to international airport was almost complete and the opening had been scheduled for August 14, 2021.

A suggestion was given to install all weather landing instruments at Skardu and Gilgit airports, which would help realise the tourism potential of the northern areas.

The cabinet desired that a proposal to this effect be presented to it within three months. The cabinet also directed that the Aviation Division shall take necessary steps to ensure that persons with disabilities have adequate access to airport facilities and services.

Mushroom growth of substandard testing agencies

Special Assistant to the prime minister on establishment apprised that the committee constituted by the cabinet had given its recommendations on checking the mushroom growth of sub-standard private testing agencies and a summary for the prime minister was moved through the Law Division, which was still pending in that Division.

The Minister for Law and Justice briefed the cabinet of the Islamabad High Court’s decision, disbanding the use of private testing services except for screening purposes where clear selection process was not mentioned.

The cabinet directed Law & Justice Division to tender its opinion within one week.

Disposal of unserviceable aircrafts

The National Food Security and Research secretary explained to the cabinet that the implementation of its decision in the case regarding disposal of un-serviceable aircraft of the Department of Plant Protection had been delayed due to absence of specific rules. He sought three months to complete the assigned task.

The cabinet directed him to dispose of the unserviceable aircrafts of DPP within a month.

The cabinet took note of the presentation on implementation status given by the Cabinet Division and directed for early compliance of the pending decisions. The cabinet further issued directions against specific cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2021.

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