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March 11, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Senate body okays bill to remove word `Fata` from Elections Act
• The Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has approved an amendment to the Elections Act, 2017 removing the word `Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)`from the law, according to a handout from Senate.
• The amendment was necessitated after the 25th constitutional amendment which merged the erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
• The handout said the proposed amendment was approved by the Senate Secretariat after the committee`s meeting headed by PPP`s Taj Haider.
• The committee was informed that the amendment was necessary after the merger of tribal districts with KP and it was supported by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government
2. Govt to change NAB law for returned cases
• The government has planned to amend the National Accountability Ordinance the law that governs the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to empower accountability courts to decide the fate of over 200 undecided, dormant references.
• Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar at a press conference on March 10, 2023 disclosed that the government had proposed amendments to sections 4 and 5 of the ordinance to empower accountability courts to determine the fate and forum for those references whose jurisdiction have been ousted from the ambit of NAB through a previous amendment to the accountability laws.
• While the Supreme Court has yet to decide the fate of the amendment made to the ordinance last year, the law minister said the government was all set to promulgate an ordinance to cover certain deficiencies in the last year`s amendments
3. First national policy formulated to tackle air pollution
• Pakistan`s efforts to tackle air pollution have taken a significant step forward as the country`s first National Clean Air Policy (NCAP) was approved this week by the federal government, aiming to improve air quality in the country by reducing pollution.
• The policy aims to provide a comprehensive framework for improving air quality in Pakistan, with particular focus on implementing national-scale actions that would lead to measurable improvements.
• With the NCAP in place, the government and its partners are poised to make significant progress in the fight against air pollution in Pakistan, with major objectives being reducing annual deaths and trans-boundary pollution, improving the health of Pakistani citizens, with a positive impact on the country`s economic activity
4. Govt plans fresh Rs3.23 surcharge for FY24
• The unprecedented hike in electricity tariffs continued its upward journey to burden hapless consumers before the Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic bailout could see the light of the day.
• Three days after imposing a Rs3.82 per unit surcharge for March-June of 2022-23, the government on Friday filed a fresh request with the power regulator for the continuation of up to Rs3.23 per unit surcharge for next fiscal year (2023-24) as the regulator issued a series of notifications to charge higher fuel costs from consumers for consumption in January and recovery of up to Rs14.24 per unit fuel costs outstanding since August last year.
• Subsidised power tariff Simultaneously, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) also issued two separate notifications for the withdrawal of a special fixed tariff of Rs19.99 per unit for all export industries and for discontinuation of special relief of Rs3.60/unit provided to the private agriculture consumers in their current base rate of Rs16.60/unit. Both these facilities for exporters and farmers now stand finished with effect from March 1.
5. Xi secures third term as president
• Xi secured a precedent breaking third term as president of China on Friday during a parliamentary session in which he tightened his control of the world`s second-largest economy as it emerges from a Covid slump and diplomatic challenges mount.
• Nearly 3,000 members of China`s parliament, the National People`s Congress (NPC), voted unanimously in the Great Hall of the People for the 69-year-old in an election after Xi locked in another five years as head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October.
• Since then, Xi has weathered widespread protests over his zero-Covid policy and the deaths of countless people after its abandonment. But those issues have been avoided at this week`s NPC, a carefully choreographed event that is also set to appoint Xi ally Li Qiang as the new premier