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February 01, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Gilani offers to step down amid SBP legislation row
• The controversy over the passage of the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Act 2021 continued to haunt the Senate as opposition leader Yusuf Raza Gilani offered to step down over his absence from the house during the passage of the key legislation.
• At the very outset of proceedings, Mr Gilani, who was one of eight opposition lawmakers absent from the upper house the day the SBP bill was put to vote, said he had submitted his resignation to the party leadership, adding: `I do not want to be leader of the opposition`.
• However, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) sources said the party chairman had refused to accept the former prime minister`s resignation. During his speech, Mr Gilani took exception to the accusation `levelled by some turncoat` that he helped the government. He also questioned the role of the Senate chairman, who he said had played the role of a facilitator for the government, stressing that his position warranted neutrality.
• He pointed out that the agenda for Friday`s session was issued hours before it was slated to take place, arguing that lawmakers should have been given more time to discuss the legislation.
2. Senate adopts resolution in support of parliamentary form of govt
• The Senate on Monday passed a resolution against a `systematic campaign` being run to propagate presidential system of government in the country, warning that such a move would have `disastrous consequences` for the federation.
• Through the resolution, tabled by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani on behalf of the lawmakers belonging to almost all opposition parties represented in the house, the Senate made a `resolve that it will preserve and protect the parliamentary form of government as envisaged in the 1973 Constitution` The resolution was adopted by the house as it was not opposed by the treasury members.
• Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Wasim made it clear that the government had nothing to do with the ongoing debate in the country on the presidential system, but at the same time said there was no need for the presentation of this resolution which, according to him, would strengthen those forces which were behind such a campaign
3. New deputy national coordinator for HIV programme appointed
• The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has appointed a new deputy national coordinator for the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) programme.
• According to a notification of the ministry, Assistant Dental Surgeon (BPS-18) at Polyclinic Hospital Dr Rabia Iqbal has been transferred/ posted and appointed as the deputy national coordinator HIV/AIDS (BPS-19) to manage Global Fund under Section 10 of Civil Servants Act 1973/deputation basis (in her own pay and scale)for a period of three years.
• The notification has been issued with the approval of the competent authority the secretary NHS.
4. Technical working group on TAPI gas pipeline to meet today
• With Islamabad vying for price cut, the energy ministers of Pakistan and Turkmenistan met on Monday for discussions on two major energy import projects, including the way forward on execution of multi-billion dollar Turkmenistan Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
• Pakistan had already taken up with Turkmenistan the issue of gas price review and delivery point of gas under TAPI pipeline project in previous meetings. In the existing gas sales purchase agreement under TAPI, the gas delivery point is Afghanistan Turkmenistan border but given the Afghan situation, Pakistan wanted a gas delivery point at the Pakistan Afghan border.
5. January sees higher foreign inflows in equity, bonds
• For the first time in the current fiscal year, foreign investments in equities, Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) and the Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) outpaced the outflows in January.
• The latest data of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed that foreign investments in the domestic market increased significantly reversing the trend of higher outflows.
• However, the cumulative net flow was negative during the first seven months (July-January) of FY22