Zardari to woo senators over RGST bill

President Asif Zardari has invited senators from treasury and opposition parties to seek their help on the Reformed General Sales Tax  bill before Nov 30, our sources has learnt.

The president will hold two meetings with the senators on Monday (today) and Wednesday (Nov 24) in which senators from treasury as well as the opposition parties including PML-N, having strength of seven in the Upper House of the parliament, have been invited.

Earlier, the meeting of senators representing all the parties in the Upper House was planned for Tuesday, but later it was postponed for a day and now it will take place on Wednesday.

Confirming the meeting, presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told our sources it would be held on 24th of November.

Sources said President Zardari would hold the 1st meeting at the Presidency with senators of the ANP on Monday, which has six members in the Upper House of the Parliament.

The six ANP senators who were invited include Haji Muhammad Adeel, Abdul Nabi Bangash, Afrasiyab Khan Khattak, Ilyas Bilour, Farah Aqil and Zahid Khan.

ANP Secretary Information Senator Zahid Khan said: “We have been invited (by the president) on Monday and we will first hold our parliamentary meeting to take our members into confidence regarding the meeting.”

The ANP senators’ meeting with President Zardari will be followed by a major gathering of senators at Presidency to which the PML-N has also been invited. A senior PML-N leader confirmed that an invitation had been extended to the party for 24th.

He said it would be premature to say if the party would attend the meeting, as they would first take the party parliamentarians into confidence over the issue at a meeting in Islamabad.

PML-N Senators include Ishaq Dar, Raja Zafarul Haq, Najma Hameed, Pervaiz Rasheed, Mushahid Ullah, Zafar Ali Shah and Prof Sajid Mir.

At present, the PPP appears to be in minority in both the houses of the Parliament to get the RGST passed even if it is Okayed by the standing committees of the Senate or the National Assembly.

All allied parties of the PPP including ANP, MQM, JUI-F have already expressed categorical no-confidence over the RGST.

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