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Reforms body limits cabinet size to 10% of total NA members

* Committee putting final touches on draft of 18th Amend package
* Draft likely to be presented in parliament on Monday or Tuesday

By Irfan Ghauri

ISLAMABAD: After almost finalising the draft of the constitutional package, the 27-member Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR) has proposed to fix a limit on the size of the federal cabinet, which would not exceed 10 percent of the total membership of the National Assembly.

Sources privy to the proceedings of the committee, which has held 70 sittings so far, told Daily Times that 25 percent of the new cabinet’s members would belong to the Senate.

Final touches: The sources said the committee was giving final touches to the proposed 18th Amendment package, which is most likely to be presented in the parliament on Monday or Tuesday.

They said the committee needed a day or two more to fine-tune the draft as it waits for the outcome of the proposed meeting between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali to finalise the new name for NWFP, which would be incorporated in the final draft.

“The committee has put five subjects in the draft, including the Criminal Procedure Code, the Pakistan Penal Code and the Evidence Act, which were earlier in the concurrent list under part 2 of the federal list that will come under the preview of the Council of Common Interests.

Amending Article 172, the new package proposed giving 50 percent of the share from the income generated from minerals and natural resources to the respective provinces, who would be allowed to built large dams by themselves and generate power.

After the proposed amendment, the federating units would be empowered to launch power generation projects and the federal government would be constitutionally bound to give sovereign guarantees to get loans from international institutions.

Source: Daily Times

Date:3/19/2010

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