ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee while reviewing the issue of renovation of the National Assembly in the wake of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Foreign Minister's conference (OIC FM) expressed its strong annoyance and said the building of Parliament House is a national heritage building and the original shape of the monument should not be changed.
The Public Accounts Committee meeting was chaired by Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain that discussed the renovation of the National Assembly in the wake of the OIC Foreign Ministers conference, on Wednesday. The Member Engineering, CDA told PAC that Rs. 120 million is being spent on renovation in Parliament.
Chairman PAC Rana Tanveer Hussain said it was not the fault of the government but the Speaker National Assembly, who should have thought before allowing the National Assembly to be used for the OIC conference, besides incurring a wasteful expenditure of millions of rupees for unnecessary renovation. “The PAC must ensure this does not happen again,” he said.
PPP's Senator Sherry Rehman questioned why the Parliament House was being used for this purpose when the Convention Center was already available for such conferences. PMLN Khawaja Muhammad Asif also asked why the OIC conference was not being held somewhere else. “They should better start renting out the parliament building for marriage ceremonies also,” he remarked in a lighter tone. In his response, the foreign secretary said Parliament House is the most prestigious venue for the OIC moot. Kh Asif asked as to what has the OIC done for Pakistan that such arrangements are being made for them.
The PAC chairman said the speaker should have given it a thought before allowing the National Assembly to be used for the OIC conference and incurring a wasteful expenditure of millions of rupees for needless renovation. He said the Parliament House building is a national heritage building and the original shape of the monuments should never be changed. While expressing annoyance over CDA and Foreign Ministry officials, Manaza Hassan, said they came to the Parliament building and started work. “Whose building is this and whether the issue of parliament's renovation raised in the NA Standing Committee of House. “This is the parliamentarians' building, who gave you the right to come here and install a wooden floor,” she asked.
Member Engineering, CDA told PAC that Rs. 120 million is being spent on renovation in Parliament. “The renovation is being done at the request of the National Assembly, the doors were removed temporarily to install new tiles, while 45 washrooms in the Parliament House are also being renovated,” he said. The Member Engineering further said that according to the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the guests at the last conference had complained of dirty bathrooms. He told the committee that the carpet in the National Assembly Hall was replaced after 30 years. The CDA chairman told the committee that renovation would be completed by March 15.
During the meeting, Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain raised the issue of glass walls in the corridor in front of the Chairman Senate's Chamber. The Public Accounts Committee recommended the removal of glass walls.