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Sunday June 16, 2024

Senate may take up Thar transmission line delay issue today

By Mumtaz Alvi
April 10, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Senate may today (Monday) discuss the failure to tap into the true potential of Thar Coal and inordinate delay in the construction of second transmission line and Islamkot-Chor Railway line for supply of affordable electricity.

Twenty-three orders of the day for today’s sitting include the motion.

The motion says, “…this House may discuss failure to tap into true potential of Thar Coal: inordinate delay in construction of second transmission line and Islamkot-Chor Railway line that has left national grid deprived of affordable electricity and many coal power plants reliant on expensive imported coal.” The motion has been filed by Senator Taj Haider of PPP.

A resolution filed by PTI senators is also part of the agenda.

The resolution reads, “The Senate of Pakistan recalls Article 37(a) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which stipulates that the State shall promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of backward classes or areas. The Senate of Pakistan further recalls Article 38(a) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which stipulates that the state shall secure the well-being of people, irrespective of sex, cast, creed, or race by raising their standard of living”.

“This House demands that the federal government, through the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, re-start the Federal Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Program.

“The House also demands that the federal government aims to collaborate with the governments of each province and federating units to devise a cost-sharing mechanism, whereby both the provincial and federal governments each contribute funds to the program,” it states.

Senator Samina Mumtaz Zehri will move for leave to introduce a bill further to amend the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Act, 2021 [The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2023. She will also move for leave to introduce a bill further to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 [The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023]. (Insertion of new section 376B in PPC and subsequent amendment in Schedule-II of Cr.PC).

Separately, the WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipal, called on Senator Kauda Babar, Convener of the Senate Committee for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, the other day.

Dr Mahipala reiterated the significance of prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which account for a significant portion of the mortality rate in Pakistan, amounting to 57%. He emphasized the role that policy makers and legislators can play in their prevention and expressed gratitude to the chairman Senate for taking this step and establishing this committee.

Senator Kauda Babar highlighted the imperative nature of bringing all stakeholders together to develop a consensus and work collectively for NCDs prevention, despite health being a provincial subject. He said a letter had been dispatched to all the provincial governments by his office for consultations in this connection.

The two sides engaged in a detailed discussion regarding mutual cooperation, with the Senate Committee identifying specific areas where the WHO’s assistance, leveraging their expertise, would be most beneficial. The engagement plan for the next six months will be shared, and progress will be closely monitored. The WHO will offer technical support to the committee since the organization has expertise in the area.