ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem on Sunday said that efforts are being made to turn the NAB Amendment Ordinance into an act by convening parliament’s session.
He said that it is difficult to summon parliament session due to social distancing owing to coronavirus outbreak. He said that it is the government policy to give extension to ordinances which are going to be lapsed.
The government had promulgated an ordinance against hoarding of essential commodities amidst the spread of coronavirus to protect the common man’s interest. The new ordinance carries three-year sentence, summary trial and seizure of the material for hoarding of wheat, sugar, flour, ghee, sanitizers, face masks and other essential items, he said while addressing a press conference at the Press Information Department (PID) here.
Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Justice Malaeka Bokhari was present on the occasion.
Farogh said the government had also prepared an Anti-Smuggling Ordinance to stop the smuggling of dollars and essential commodities like wheat and sugar through the undeclared routes.
The ordinance has been sent to the office of the prime minister for vetting. This law is likely to bepromulgated on Monday or Tuesday, he said. The minister said a stern action would be taken against those involved in smuggling of essential items.
He said no one would be allowed to benefit from the current situation in wake of coronavirus. He said though the customs department would be the focal department to stop this practice, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be authorized to dedicate powers to any state institution like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Inter Services Intelligence Bureau (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) to seek their assistance against smuggling.
The minister said the district administrations had been made bound to share available information on any act of smuggling or hoarding to the relevant institution for action.
A copy of this information would also be sent to the secretary law and justice who would view the actions taken by the department concerned on it, he maintained. A stern action, he said, would also be taken against the officers for showing negligence on the matter.
The minister said changes could be made to the ordinance in extraordinary situations, if necessary. The minister said a summary trial of culprits would be initiated in accordance with the law, adding that the judges for the summary trial would be appointed with the consultation of chief justice of Pakistan.
The minister said his ministry was introducing laws keeping in view the current situation on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan to safeguard the interest of the common man. Farogh said COVID-19 was a global pandemic and it was need of the hour to work collectively to defeat it.
“All provinces should work together with the federal government in the current situation,” he maintained. The minister said the only way to tackle COVID-19 was precautionary measures, adding that the people of Pakistan were aware and educated in this regard.
Earlier, Farogh said the Ministry of Law and Justice had resolved a total of 60,649 cases during 20 months which was a ratio of 99 percent. The minister said his ministry had been working round the clock for the last several days to prepare ordinances against hoarding and smuggling.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Malaeka Bokhari said these laws were manifestation of the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and fulfillment of the PTI manifesto. She said hoarding and anti-smuggling laws would bring ease in the life of the common people.
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