Abb Takk News

President Signs FATA Interim Governance Regulation Bill

Islamabad(May 28, 2018): President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday signed the ‘FATA Interim Governance Regulation, 2018’.

Yesterday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly passed the KP-FATA merger bill after it being already approved from the upper and lower chambers of the Parliament.

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The session held to vote for the bill was presided over by KP assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, where Chief Minister KP Pervaiz Khattak was also present. The vote count showed that 87 provincial lawmakers voted in favour of the bill while seven in opposition.At the beginning of the session, minority lawmaker Baldev Kumar took oath administered by speaker assembly. The House proceeded to discuss the bill, where Jamaat-e-Islami’s parliamentary leader Anayatullah addressed the assembly.

The JI lawmaker said that Malakand should be given an extensible tax amnesty for 10 years and rs100 billion annual development package should be given to KP similar as FATA.

CM KP Pervaiz Khattak also addressed the KP assembly, where he said that that people have been accusing him of taking bribe from caretaker CM.  “Please don’t bring up allegations,” said Pervaiz Khattak, adding that those levelling blame should provide evidence as well.A resolution was approved in the assembly to exempt Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) from taxes for a time period of 10 years.

The resolution was presented by Dr Haider Ali in the House, which was signed by all the parliamentary leaders of the political parties except for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Fazl.

The resolution demanded a development package of Rs 100 billion for the PATA, same as the FATA region. It also demanded subsidy on electricity.Since the constitutional amendment would result in withdrawal of tax exemptions from the tribal areas, MPAs from PATA have shown concern over passage of the bill, the letter reads.

The concerns of MPAs from PATA could hinder the bill from getting the support of two-third of the majority in the provincial assembly.

Therefore, Qaiser had requested Sadiq to provide the sought exemptions on an urgent basis before voting starts on the amended bill in KP Assembly. On May 25, the Senate approved the constitutional amendment bill on the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

During the session, 71 lawmakers voted in favour of nine clauses of the constitutional amendment bill while five were against them.

Besides, 28 lawmakers were absent from the House during the session.

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The bill titled Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018 was presented by Minister for Law and Justice Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk, while the session is being headed by Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani.

After the approval from the Senate, President Mamnoon Hussain will sign it turning into a law.

On May 24, The National Assembly passed “Constitution (Thirty-First Amendment) Bill, 2018” with over two- thirds majority paving the way for the merger.Two hundred and twenty-nine members parliamentarians voted in favour of the constitution amendment while one voted against it. The bill was opposed by government-allied parties Jamiat-e-ulema-Islam (JUI-F) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

The amendment will bring an end to colonial-era laws governing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), extending the writ of Pakistani courts to its districts and increasing development assistance to its residents.‘Bill passed with national consensus’
“Today this house had approved a historic bill, which will have very positive effects for Pakistan. I thank the opposition for their support,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told legislators after the vote.

“We need to provide (FATA residents) with all those facilities which are available to the people in the rest of Pakistan,” he added.

PM Abbasi also said that a committee worked for over two years and presented a report that had led to the constitution of the FATA implementation committee.“The committee report was assessed by civil and military leadership including the army chief,” he said, adding that the bill was approved with a consensus of the government and opposition members.

“I am thankful especially to Khursheed Shah, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Farooq Sattar,” he said.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad later in the day, he said the government made efforts to achieve consensus for four years, and today, the amendment has been adopted with the two-third majority to mainstream FATA. He thanked all the parties for cooperation in passing the bill in the National Assembly.

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He also vowed that FCR would be scrapped from FATA after implementation of  FATA bill.

The Prime Minister said the amendment will initiate a process to ensure development and equal rights to the people of FATA.

“One hundred billion rupees per year will be spent for ten years to bring FATA at par with other parts of the country in terms of development and other facilities,” he said adding that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government will implement this development agenda in FATA.Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said local bodies elections will also be held in FATA this year to devolve powers at the grassroots level.

He dispelled the impression of any foreign pressure for FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Responding to a question regarding the nomination of the caretaker prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said no agreement has so far been reached between him and opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah about it.

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