NA committee passes CPEC Authority (Amendment) Bill 2020

10:40 AM | 18 Nov, 2020
NA committee passes CPEC Authority (Amendment) Bill 2020

ISLAMABAD – A parliamentary committee on Tuesday passed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority (Amendment) Bill 2020 with majority votes.

A meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning and Development, chaired by PTI MNA Junaid Akbar, discussed in detail the draft of the Bill and approved it with the majority of votes.

Earlier, the NA body questioned the Ministry of Planning about the salary package being given to the CPEC chairman. The ministry replied that no salary was being paid to the chairman as he did not sign any memorandum of understanding in this regard following the expiry of the CPEC Ordinance.

PML-N, PPP and opposition parties defy the bill, committee told no salary given to chairman after the expiry of the ordinance in May. The members who submitted their note of dissent against the Bill included Muhammad Sajjad, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhary, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar and Syed Agha Rafiullah.

Former planning minister Ahsan Iqbal opposed the creation of the CPECA, stating it was unnecessary and superfluous as the planning ministry had discharged the role very diligently and effectively in the past.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar, MNAs Sher Akbar Khan, Saleh Muhammad, Shaukat Ali, Syed Faiz-ul-Hassan, Nawab Sher, Dr Seemi Bokhari, Imran Khattak, and Muhammad Sajjad attended the meeting.

Committee also asked HEC to answer on why scholarships to students who were receiving higher education abroad were stopped. The commission replied that they had not stopped the scholarships and that universities all over the world were not accepting foreign students due to the spread of Covid-19.