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June 09, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Planners set 5pc GDP growth target for next year
• The National Economic Council (NE C) on June 8, 2022 set next year`s economic growth rate target at five per cent with a Rs2.184 trillion worth of consolidated public sector investment almost unchanged from Rs2.135tr development allocation in the current year.
• The meeting of the NEC the country`s highest economic decision-making body was presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Chief ministers of three provinces other than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other members of the council attended.
• The participants unanimously decided that every effort would be made to reach 6pc growth rate next year
2. NA approves 11 bills without debate
• Lawmakers on June 8, 2022 passed 11 bills many of them dealing with issues of a serious nature, in a non-serious environment without discussion and without even having quorum on a dull private member`s day in the National Assembly.
• Of the 11 approved bills, eight were adopted by the lower house after suspending rules and without referring them to the committees concerned.
• Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani, who presided over the entire over three-hour-long session, continued declaring the bills `introduced` and `passed` through voice votes as the lawmakers kept on saying `Aye` without knowing what was really going on around them
3. Key medical laws repealed
• The National Assembly on June 8, 2022 repealed two controversial laws of the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) and Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) which had become a reason for a number of protests and litigations.
• The bill to repeal MTI was moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) legislator Agha Rafiullah while the bill to revoke the PMC was moved by Mahreen Razaque Bhutto, also from the PPP.
• National Health Services (NHS) Minister Abdul Qadir Patel thanked the parliamentarians for passing the bills, which repealed the MTI and PMC, claiming that the Pakistan Medical Commission was introduced after dissolving the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) while MTI bill had made the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) a private hospital
4. Parliament strips judicial powers of capital`s bureaucrats
• After the Senate, the National Assembly on June 8, 2022 also gave its nod to a bill that seeks separation of the judiciary and the executive, clipping the judicial powers of assistant commissioners, the deputy commissioner and the commissioner of Islamabad.
• Now, after the approval of President Dr Arif Alvi, amendments to the 124-year-old Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898 will finally be made.
• The NA unanimously passed a bill titled `The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2022` moved by MNA Shaza Fatima Khawaja.
• Last month, the bill, introduced by Senator Irfan Siddiqui, was passed by the Senate
5. Moody`s lowers five Pakistani banks` outlook to negative
• Moody`s Investors Service on June 8, 2022 affirmed the B3 long-term deposit ratings of five leading Pakistani banks and changed their outlook to negative from stable as a fallout of its last week`s downgrade of Pakistan`s sovereign rating to negative.
• These banks are Allied Bank Limited (ABL), Habib Bank Ltd, MCB Bank Limited (MCB), National Bank of Pakistan and United Bank Ltd (UBL). As part of the same rating action, `Moody`s has changed the outlook on the banks` long-term deposit ratings to negative from stable`, it said in a statement.
• The rating agency has also downgraded the long-term foreign currency counterparty risk ratings of ABL, MCB and UBL to B3 from B2. These ratings are now constrained by the government of Pakistan`s foreign currency country ceiling, which was lowered to B3 from B2