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May 17, 2023: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. NSC validates trial of rioters under Army Act
• The civil leadership and military top brass on May 16, 2023 endorsed a decision made a day earlier during a meeting of corps commanders to invoke the Army Act and Official Secrets Act against people suspected of involvement in the May 9 riots which damaged the state and private properties across Pakistan.
• The National Security Committee chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also decided to lay hands within 72 hours on all those involved in the violent attacks, their facilitators, and leaders on whose instigation these people had committed vandalism.
• The proposed move to try arsonists under the Army Act has come under severe criticism, with rights groups asking the government to refrain from it.
• International human rights group Amnesty International also expressed concerns
2. NA passes crucial bill on `contempt of parliament`
• The National Assembly on May 16, 2023 passed a critical bill seeking to empower the lawmakers to punish those committing contempt of parliament or its committees and breaching the privilege of any member of any house of parliament, as the legislators continued to assault judges of superior courts in the wake of ongoing executive-judiciary tussle over the issue of elections in Punjab.
• The private member`s bill, titled `Contempt of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) Bill 2023`, had been tabled by PTI dissident Rana Qasim Noon last week and Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf immediately referred it to the house committee on rules and procedure with a directive to present its report within seven days after it was supported one by one by the members belonging to almost all the parties.
• The members, however, passed the bill with some amendments to the original draft as suggested by the committee, also headed by Mr Noon
3. Current account in surplus for second month in a row
• The current account posted a surplus for the second consecutive month, shrinking the 10-month deficit by 76 per cent year-on-year, the central bank said on May 16, 2023, following stringent import restrictions by the government to manage an economy in turmoil.
• The surplus of $18 million in April came after the country`s current account turned to $654m in March a big monthly figure and the first surplus in over two years. The State Bank has now updated the March surplus to $750m.
• This has helped contract the ongoing fiscal year`s current account deficit (CAD) by a massive 76 per cent to just $3.26bnin July-April compared to $13.65bn in the same period last year
4. Govt amends rules for Pak-Tajikistan transit trade
• The government has amended the Tajikistan-Pakistan transit trade rules, which will cover inward and outward flows at Karachi, Qasim and Gwadar ports.
• The amendments were made through a customs notification, SRO560 of 2023, by amending an earlier notification. As part of the rules, registration of foreign businesses and other users with the Customs Computerised System to issue user ID or password will be carried out through the office of directorate general reforms and automation in Karachi.
• Vehicles transporting transit and bilateral goods will be licensed by the competent authorities of the contracting parties as transport operators authorised to conduct international transportation. Every vehicle while exiting or entering Pakistan will carry a valid permit issued by the competent authority
5. Ukraine chief justice held over $2.7m bribe claim
• Ukraine on May 16, 2023 said law enforcement had detained the head of the country`s supreme court in a $2.7-million bribery inquiry, as Kyiv pursues anti graft measures required for closer integration with the European Union.
• Following Vsevolod Kniaziev`s detention, 140 of 142 justices backed a decision to remove him from office at a plenum of the Supreme Court.
• Since Ukraine was officially granted candidate status to join the EU last year, it has taken steps to clear up endemic corruption