ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday passed four private members bills, including the Maintenance and Welfare of Old Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2019, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Islamabad Pure Food Authority Bill, 2019 as reported by the standing committees concerned.

The bills were piloted by senators Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi and Sajjad Hussain Turi, respectively, in the House.

Rana Maqbool Ahmad said the bill would ensure protection of rights of senior citizen. He said that the bill was passed by the committee unanimously. Giving the statement of objects and reason of the bill, he said that there has been a steady rise in the population of older persons in Pakistan, because of an appreciable increase in the life expectancy.

He said that increase in population the traditional norms and status of the senior citizens have deteriorated. The elders were exposed to emotional neglect and to lack of physical and financial support and they were facing a lot of problems in the absence of adequate social security, he added.

The bills introduced in the House included the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Insertion of new Article 25B), the Working Women (Protection of Rights Bill, 2020, the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Omission of Section 124 A), the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Amendment of Article 89) and the Pakistan Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The bills were moved by Senators Sirajul Haq, Seemee Ezdi, Mian Raza Rabbani and Faisal Javed.

Presenting the statement of objects and reason of the bill, Senator Sirajul Haq said that the bill was aimed at providing health as a fundamental right of citizens like provision of compulsory education.

Statement of objects and reasons of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (Amendment) Bill, 2020 said that although the media industry of Pakistan has expanded in the past few years, it was facing a slowdown these days and the brunt of which was faced by media employees, reporters, newscasters and correspondents etc., in the form of lay-offs, pay cuts and late or no payments of salaries.

It said that in some companies, employees have been forced to take pay cuts which they accepted without any resistance fearing the consequences of losing their jobs.

Many news channels have discontinued prime time shows and downsized their employees, resulting in massive unemployment and increasing poverty, thus a need is felt to comprehensively deliberate and legislate upon the exploitation of media employees by the channels and companies, it added.

Originally Posted on Abbtak TV

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