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The opposition has agreed with the government to move cut motions about just eight ministries when demands will be put before the National Assembly for vote later this month, Dawn has learnt. Talking to this correspondent here on Sunday, a number of opposition members, however, justified the act, saying that it was a parliamentary tradition to reach an understanding with the government as it was not possible to discuss grants of each and every ministry or division on the floor of the National Assembly in such a short span of time. According to the sources, the opposition has identified the ministries of interior, water and power, petroleum and natural resources, railways, communications, cabinet, housing and works and health for moving cut motions. The motions are expected to be put to vote on June 24. The opposition members have been given a deadline of June 21 to submit cut motions.The sources said the opposition had planned to move most of the cut motions on the demands for ministries of interior, ministry of water and power and the cabinet division. They said the opposition had identified those ministries for moving cut motions about which there had been frequent media reports of corruption and nepotism. By moving the cut motions, the opposition members will get a chance to discuss the performance of the ministries and highlight the alleged corruption and nepotism in these ministries. Talking to Dawn, PML-Q’s MNA Riaz Pirzada said that most of the complaints were related to the ministries of interior and water and power. The opposition MNA alleged that the interior ministry officials were even involved in rigging by-elections held recently in different parts of the country. The PML-N’s Anusha Rehman said she was not sure about the exact number of cut motions to be moved by them as they were still busy in preparing the motions in consultations with other opposition groups and parties in the National Assembly. In reply to a question, Ms Rehman dismissed charges of being a “friendly opposition”, saying “we are playing the role of an effective opposition while following parliamentary traditions”. She claimed it was because of the PML-N’s opposition that the government had so far failed to move many important bills, including the much-talked about accountability bill. The PML-N MNA expressed surprise over the government’s move to incorporate an expired Finance (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 seeking to harmonise taxes in the finance bill despite pending court cases related to it. She said the opposition would have no choice but to speak on a matter which, according to her was subjudice, when the government presented it in the form of a bill. Ms Rehman termed the government’s move a “gross legal and constitutional violation”. She said the government promulgated the ordinance twice under Article 89 of the Constitution and then brought it before the National Assembly on June 4 in the form of a bill. However, she said, owing to the PML-N’s opposition, the government withdrew the said bill. Now the government had moved the same bill under Article 73 of the Constitution, meaning the Senate, which represented the four federating units, would not be required to approve the controversial law.
By: Dawn News