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Senate passes ‘Right of Access to Information Bill’; NA adopts ‘Election Bill 2017’

ISLAMABAD -UNS : The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed “The Right of Access to Information Bill 2017”, while the National Assembly introduced the “Election Bill 2017” aimed at electoral reforms.

The bill moved by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb provides for the right to information in a transparent and effective manner, subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the law.

The Senate also passed ‘The Post Office (Amendment) Bill 2017’.

NA adopts Election Bill 2017

Meanwhile, the National Assembly also adopted the “Election Bill 2017” envisaging wide-ranging reforms aimed to free, fair and transparent elections.

The House adopted amendments moved by the Law Minister including those having concurrence of the opposition members while other amendments of the opposition benches were rejected.

The bill consolidates eight election laws that would stand repealed once it becomes an act of parliament. It envisages that citizens getting computerised National Identity Cards from Nadra would automatically become voters.

The reforms proposed in the bill include financial and administrative autonomy for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and enable provisions to conduct pilot projects for utilisation of electronic voting machines, biometric verification and voting by overseas Pakistanis.

The maximum limit for election expenses has been rationalised. The new limits is 1.5 million rupees for election to a seat of Senate, four million for a seat of National Assembly and two million rupees for a seat of the provincial assembly.

Under the bill, functions of the caretaker government have been confined to day to day, routine, non-controversial matters and shall not take major policy decisions except of urgent nature.

All political parties are required to allot at least five percent tickets against general seats to female candidates.

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