Senators for more authority to Senate on financial issues
ISLAMABAD—Senators on Friday underlined the need for granting the Upper House more authority to ensure transparency in financial issues especially pertaining to provinces. Taking part in the budget debate Senator Muzzafar Hussain Shah of PML (F) said ‘Pakistan’s constitutional structure is on the basis of federalism’ but in practice things are different. The Senate is supposed to protect interest of provinces and this should be given more authority on financial matters especially related to provinces.
Speaking about the Senate representation in the Public Accounts Committee, he emphasised that the Up- per House of the Parliament should be granted representation in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to oversee financial matters related to Provinces effectively. He demanded of the government to include recommendations to be given the by the Senate in the annual budget but “it is not being given attention”.
He said agriculture sector was playing important role in the country’s economy, adding the government should reduce import duty on agriculture sector-related machinery like tractors, harvesters and others to facilitate farmers aimed at increasing their agri production by using tax free machinery. The government should announce minimum support price for cotton or wheat after taking into consideration production cost adding irrigation system which was now in dilapidated condition, he mentioned.
Senator Karim Khawaja of PPP said that efforts should be made to pass on blessings of China Pakistan Economic Cooridor (CPEC) project to less developed areas of the country. Speaking on climate change issue, he said that climate change was a major challenge in the time to come but it had not been given allocations to address the challenges.