Senate body expresses displeasure over absence of minister

Ijaz Kakakhel

A legislative body of Upper house of parliament on Monday expressed displeasure over the absence of the Minister for Communication with a view that there were important matters for which the minister can respond better than others.

To ensure the presence of the minister in the meeting, the chairman of the committee said that he would write a letter to the Chairman Senate regarding the matter of the absence and the non-serious attitude of the minister, since matters pertaining to the National Highway is in the larger interest of the Public.

These views were expressed during a meeting of the Senate Standing committee on communications, which was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Ahmad Umer Ahmadzai.

The National Highway and Motorway Police stated that the Highway fines imposed on the general public is static for the last twenty-five to thirty years.

The private member bill to further amend the “The national Highway Safety Ordinance, 2000” (The National Highway Safety (Amendment) Bill, 2021) introduced by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi in the House on 06-01-2020 and referred by the House to the committee on 25-01-2021 for re-consideration and report was also taken up.

The Federal Cabinet made amendments in the Twelfth Schedule to the said ordinance through S.R.O Notification No 1418(I)/2019 dated 22nd November, 2020 and thereby enhanced the penalties for various violation falling in the said schedule.

However, the increase in fines triggered grave public resentment leading to country-wide strikes of the transport sector and other stakeholders.

Eventually, the enhancement Notification has to be held in abeyance indefinitely and the old schedule is still being implemented.

The National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) agreed in principle with the enhancement of fines through appropriate amendments considering public acceptability.

The NHMP representatives laid a report, proposing amendments in the fine imposed in the Bill on various offences such as relating to licenses, over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using vehicle in an unsafe condition, using vehicle with shaded glass, offences relating to overweight, accidents, etc.

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