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February 11, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Upper house incensed by judiciary`s commentary
• The judiciary came under fire in the upper house of parliament on Friday over remarks given by judges the previous day, which were seen by lawmakers as `political` and `against parliament and the legislative processes`.
• Senators belonging to various political parties voiced their objections to observations made by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, who said during a hearing on Thursday that parliament was being kept `systematically incomplete` The CJP also said that elections were the `real answer` to all issues and observed that the country`s most honest prime minister was sent packing by invoking a now-defunct article of the Constitution. Most inferred that the CJP was referring to former premier Mohammad Khan Junejo, who served in the late 1980s
2. Rs170bn more in taxes crucial for IMF deal, says Dar
• Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on February 10, 2023 announced the government would promptly introduce a mini-budget to generate Rs170 billion additional revenues in four months (about Rs510bn on annualised basis) and reform the power and gas sectors including through withdrawal of unbudgeted subsidies and tariff increases to stop flow of circular debt as prior actions agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure early disbursement of about $1.2bn tranche.
• Speaking at a hurriedly called news conference shortly after the IMF issued a bland end-of-mission statement, the minister said all matters with the fund had been settled in the final round held on Thursday and the mutually agreed terms were taken to the prime minister as a customary courtesy call-on by the IMF mission chief and resident representative through a video-link
3. Govt approves power tariff hike to pacify IMF
• Moving swiftly to meet prior actions of the IMF programme, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on February 10, 2023 approved imposition of a special financing surcharge of Rs3.39 per unit in average power tariff, in addition to quarterly tariff adjustments of up to Rs3.21 per unit for one year and recovery of pending fuel cost adjustments of up to Rs4 per unit for about three months.
• While the financing surcharge would remain a regular part of average base national tariff, the two other tariff adjustments would sometimes be overlapping simultaneously and fluctuating at other times. In addition, another surcharge at the rate of Re1 per unit has been approved in advance for the next fiscal year (FY24), on top of an existing and continuing financing surcharge of 43 paise per unit to cover power sector debt servicing
4. Bill passed to remove bar on civil servants heading CDA
• After National Assembly, the Senate on February 10, 2023 also passed the bill to make amendments to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance 1960.
• The bill, which will be sent to President Dr Arif Alvi for his approval to make it an act of parliament, approved three amendments to the ordinance mainly related to appointment of the CDA chairman and allowing the civic agency to enter into public-private partnership.
• During the Senate session on Friday, the bill was presented by Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan. The bill said section (f) of the CDA ordinance shall be omitted. Under this clause, government servants could not be appointed as CDA board members and chairman rather they were to be appointed from the private sector through a competitive process
5. Ethiopian Airlines to start operations from Karachi on March 26
• The Ethiopian Airlines will commence operations from Karachi on March 26, said Jemal Beker Abdula, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia in Islamabad.
• `In this critical time in history, it is important to bring the two countries together,` Ambassador Abdula told Dawn exclusively.
• The pan-African airline is already flying to 130 destinations and will be an instrument to connect Pakistan with Africa, he said.
• Mr Abdula, who is the first Ethiopian ambassador to Pakistan, has been endeavoring to enhance people-to-people contacts since his arrival