Pakistan National Assembly passes CPEC Authority Bill

Gwadar Pro

Islamabad: Pakistan’s National Assembly this week passed ‘The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Bill, 2020.’
Last week, Asad Umar said the CPEC Authority Ordinance had lapsed in May 2020 and the CPEC Authority Bill was pending in the National Assembly.

He said all administrative and financial decisions of the Authority were being taken according to the rules and regulations of the related ministries. Presently Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) heads the CPEC Authority.
Last month, the National Assembly extended the CPEC Authority Ordinance 2019 for 120 days. Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan had tabled CPEC Bill 2020 and 26th Amendment to Constitution in the National Assembly. Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri forwarded both bills to concerned standing committees.

According to the Bill, the CPEC Authority will have indemnity as no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Authority, chairperson, member, executive director operations, executive director research, employees, officers, experts, consultants, or advisers of the Authority, in respect of anything done or purported to be done in good faith, under the provision of this Act or the rules and regulations.
The Bill says, the chairperson of the CPEC Authority shall be appointed for a four -year term and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term of four years and no person shall be appointed as a chairperson for more than two terms.

The Bill states that the Prime Minister could remove chairperson, member, executive director operations, executive director research and any member from the office on the grounds of inefficiency, incapacity or misconduct and for the purpose of such recommendations, the Authority shall conduct an inquiry in such a manner as may be prescribed by regulations.
Clause 13 of the CPEC Authority Bill says that no person shall be appointed as chairperson, member, executive director operations, executive director research if he or his dependents have any direct or indirect financial interest in or have any connection which might reasonably be viewed as giving rise to a conflict of interest with any person, institution or body involved in any CPEC project or initiative.

“No person should be appointed as a chairperson, member, executive director operations, executive director research shall during his or her term in office, have or maintain any direct and indirect financial interests with any person involved in any CPEC-related project or initiative. The chairperson, member, executive director operations, executive director research shall not, at any time during their respective terms of office, engage themselves in any other service, business, vocation or employment,”reads the bill.
Section 3 of clause 13 stated that every person who knowingly contravenes any provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be guilty of misconduct.

The CPEC Authority is responsible for planning, facilitating, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating to ensure implementation of all activities related to CPEC, ensuring inter-provincial and inter-ministerial coordination, organising and coordinating meetings of Joint Cooperation Committee and joint working groups, conducting sectoral research for informed decision making and long-term planning, monitoring and evaluation and to ensure implementation besides narrative building and communication of CPEC and other related activities from time to time.

The National Assembly on Monday evening also passed two other bills, including ‘The Public Private Partnership Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ and ‘The Pakistan Single Window Bill, 2020.’.