ISLAMABAD: Opposition members at the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on Wednesday passed its amendments in the State Life Insurance Corporation (Reorganisation and Conversion) Bill, 2016, which has already been approved by the National Assembly. However, the government disagreed with the amendments and sought more time to deliberate over it.

Former minister for finance Senator Saleem Mandviwala said that by opposing the government’s bill and proposing its amendments, the opposition had saved State Life Insurance Corporation from privatisation as the government was all set to sell it off.

With Senator Shibli Faraz of PTI chairing the meeting, the committee discussed the amendments proposed by the standing committee on commerce sans PML-N members.

PML-N Senator Rahila Magsi was the only member who opposed the proposed amendments of the opposition members.

Faraz and Mandviwala of PPP urged the government to accept their amendments as the proposed bill is to be submitted to the Senate by September 30, 2016.

However, the government’s team, led by Dastgir, opposed the amendments arguing that the committee has given a very short time to assess the amendments’ impact.

The commerce minister urged the committee to give the ministry at least six weeks to consult with other stakeholders and seek legal opinion on the proposed amendments. However, the committee dominated by the opposition refused to give more time.

Dastgir argued that the proposed amendments by the opposition members will change the entire draft bill and requested the opposition to give appropriate time so that the government side can come up with a response to the proposed amendments.

Dastgir said that since it was an important bill, there are certain amendments which require thorough thought and the government wants to ensure that it was done properly and in accordance with the actual intent of the bill.

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