Speaker: (Parliamentary Standing Committees to be strengthened: says NA Speaker)

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Council of Chairmen was held under the chairpersonship of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker National Assembly, here in Parliament House, on Wednesday.

The Council of Chairmen is a forum comprising of all the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees of the National Assembly. Various matters related to the Standing Committees were discussed in the meeting at length.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that committee system is the eyes and brains of the House and plays a pivotal role in Parliamentary form of governance. He said Standing Committees assist the House in transaction of its business where legislation and accountability are translated into reality.

He assured all-out support to the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees on the behalf of National Assembly Secretariat and Speaker’s Office in carrying out parliamentary oversight on the Executive more effectively.

Syed Khursheed Shah, Chairman Public Accounts Committee, briefed the performance of PAC to the Council. The Chairpersons of different Standing Committees also informed the council regarding the performance of their committees as well as issues faced by the committees.

They suggested amendments in the rules of committees and asked for appropriate offices with trained staff. Most of the Chairpersons informed the council that the ministers concerned were not attending the standing committee meetings. They also complained that the ministries were not providing their brief to the Committees within time.

The Speaker agreed with the suggestions of the Chairpersons and apprised them about the process of modification in the existing Rules. He agreed to provision of necessary research support and required paraphernalia by the Secretariat for smooth transaction of the business of Standing Committees.

He also assured that the secretariat will arrange the trainings for committee staff. The Speaker asked the chairpersons to finalize the pending bills before the committee as early as possible.