ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel will seek enhancement and upgrading different free of cost facilities being availed by the members of the National Assembly (MNAs) on Wednesday.
They are benefiting from these facilities and privileges because of their status as the MNAs. The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Rules of Procedure and Privileges meets on May 22 to take up the issues relating to certain facilities available to the MNAs.
The forum will discuss provision of facilities of well-equipped hospitals in big cities of Pakistan to the MNAs. The matter came before the House on April 1 and was referred to committee for debate and making suggestions. The MNAs keep demanding that they should be provided the facility of free treatment in the state-of-the-art hospitals across Pakistan especially those located close to their native districts. They remain skeptic of their non-availability. They want an institutionalized system through which they could get the treatment in the well-equipped hospitals.
Another issue that the standing committee will take up pertains to the issuance of air tickets and vouchers to MNAs and conversion of the air tickets into credit cards.
Under the rules, the MNAs are entitled to air tickets and vouchers for traveling from their hometowns to Islamabad and back to attend the sessions of the National Assembly and standing committees. This issue was also raised in the House last month and was sent to the committee to make proposals in this connection. The parliamentary panel will also get a comprehensive briefing on non-entitled residence in Parliament Lodges and Government Hostel Islamabad; non-availability of maintenance funds for the Parliament Lodges; poor mechanism for the good delivery by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Besides, the forum will take up the question of privilege raised by Rana Muhammad Qasim Noon regarding what he claimed baseless and fabricated story concocted defaming him among the public through media in his absence by the Multan power company chief and superintendent engineer, XEN, Shujabad Division, sub-divisional officers Shujabad, line superintendent, assistant lineman etc.
The question of privilege raised by Faizullah Khan regarding alleged misbehavior of Muhammad Adeel Pervaiz, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will also be discussed by the committee.
Amendments separately moved by Salahuddin Ayubi, Dr. Nafisa Shah and Ms Shazia Marri to different rules will be taken up by the panel as well. These were referred to the committee after they were raised during the House proceedings.