(3)      The Federal Government shall, take a decision on the recommendations of the Commission within fifteen days of the issuance of the same.

14.   Delegation of powers of the Commission.–(1) The Commission, may delegate any of its functions or powers to one or more of its members or one or more of the officers, employees, consultants or agents of the Commission:

Provided that the Commission may not delegate its power or authority to initiate an investigation, to make preliminary or final determination, including review, refund and termination of investigations in cases governed by Trade remedy Laws or any other law that requires the Commission to make such determination:

Provided further that a delegation under this sub-section may be revoked or modified by the Commission at any time and shall otherwise not prevent the Commission from concurrently performing or exercising any function or power so delegated:

Provided also that the person to whom powers or functions are delegated pursuant to this sub-section shall not further delegate such powers or functions.

(2)  The Commission may, by and through, one or more of its members, officers, employees or agents, who have been duly designated by the Commission for such purpose, carry out any inquiry, investigation or function necessary or appropriate for the proper exercise of the Commission’s duties, powers and authority, whether provided under this Act or any other law in any part of Pakistan or in any foreign country.

15.   Meeting procedure and quorum.–(1) Decisions and determinations of the Commission shall be taken by majority vote.

(2)  At least two members, one of whom shall be Chairman, shall constitute a quorum, provided that in case of quorum of two Members, the decision shall be taken by consensus.

16.   Administration and Secretariat of the Commission.–(1) The Commission shall have a Secretariat which shall be headed by a Secretary to the Commission. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Commission as prescribed.

(2)  The Secretary to the Commission shall perform functions and duties, including the following, namely:–

(a)      to keep in custody the records and seal of the Commission;

(b)      to authorize payment of monthly salaries and allowances to the employees of the Commission;

(c)      to propose budget estimates and revised budget estimates and place the same before the Commission;

(d)      to receive applications for investigations on behalf of the Commission; and

(e)      to perform any other duties that may be assigned to him by the Commission.

17.  Employees of the Commission.–(1) The Commission may do all such acts and take all such steps as are necessary for the performance of the functions of the Commission, including the appointment of such officers etc. as it considers necessary for the efficient performance of its functions, on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.

(2)      Subject to sub-section (3), the Commission may employ, on market-scale salary, consultants, agents and technical, professional and other advisers including lawyers, economists, accountants, bankers, actuaries and other professionals to do any act necessary or appropriate to the exercise of Commission’s powers or the performance of its functions as specified in Section 8.

(3)      The employees of the Commission and other persons authorized to perform any function under this Act shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of Section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860).

18.   Terms and Conditions of services of the Commission and its Employees.–(1) “The benefits of the Commission and of an employee appointed on full-time basis in the Commission shall be as prescribed.”

(2)      From the date of appointment, the pension, gratuity, GP fund and other retirement benefits of an employee appointed on full-time basis in the Commission shall be the same as Federal Government employees of the equivalent status, grade and scale.

(3)      Employees appointed on full-time basis shall be provided time-scale promotions. For this purpose, the Commission shall make necessary regulations with approval of the Federal Government.

(4)      All other matters relating to rules, orders, terms and conditions of services of the employees of the Commission shall be dealt with in accordance with the National Tariff Commission Employees’ (Service) Rules 1995, as revised from time to time.

19.   Fund of the Commission.–The Fund of the Commission shall consist of,–

(a)      grants from the Federal Government;

(b)      fee collected by the Commission;

(c)      aid from international agencies; and

(d)      such sums as the Federal Government may allocate to the Commission.

20.   Budget, audit and accounts.–(1) The Commission shall cause proper accounts to be kept as prescribed by the Controller General of Accounts. As soon as practicable, after the end of the financial year, the Commission shall prepare a statement of accounts of the Commission for that year. This shall include a balance sheet and an account of income and expenditure.

(2)      Within sixty days after the end of each financial year, the annual financial statements shall be audited by the Auditor-General of Pakistan.

(3)      The auditors shall make a report to the Commission upon the balance sheet and accounts. They shall state whether the balance sheet is a full and fair balance sheet containing all necessary particulars and properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of affairs of the Commission. In case the Auditors have called for any explanation or information from the Commission, it shall be stated by the Auditors as to whether such explanation or information was provided to the auditors to their satisfaction or not.

21.   Representation before the Commission.–Any person duly authorized by a party is entitled to appear, plead and act on behalf of such party before the Commission.

22.   Penalty for false statement or failure to disclose correct information.–(1) Any person who knowingly or willfully furnishes any information or document or book of accounts which he is bound to produce under this Act or any Trade Remedy Laws and he has reason to believe to be false or incorrect shall be liable to imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or a fine not exceeding five million rupees, or both.

(2)  Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898), no Court other than a Court of sessions shall have jurisdiction to try a person charged with an offence under sub-section (1).

23.   Duty of members, officers, etc., to maintain secrecy.–(1) Except in the performance of his duties under this Act or any other Trade Remedy Law, every member, officer, consultant and adviser of the Commission shall preserve and aid in preserving secrecy with regard to all matters relating to the financial or other affairs of any undertaking or person that may come to his knowledge in the performance of his duties.

(2)      Every such member, officer, consultant or adviser who communicates any such matter, except when required by law to do so or in the discharge of his duty as such, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine not exceeding five million rupees, or both.

(3)      Any information referred to in sub-section (1), if prejudicial to the National Security or Defence, shall be disclosed to the Agency seeking such information, with the approval of the Commission.

24.   Disclosure of interest.–(1) The following shall apply to all employees serving in any capacity whatsoever in the Commission.

(2)      A person shall be deemed to have an interest in a matter if he has any interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in such matter which could reasonably be regarded as giving rise to a conflict between his duty to honestly perform his functions, so that his ability to consider and decide any question impartially or to give any advice without bias, may reasonably be regarded as impaired.

(3)      A person having any interest in any matter to be discussed or decided by the Commission, shall prior to discharge of any function or business of the Commission, disclose in writing to the Secretary to the Commission, the fact of his interest and the nature thereof.

(4)      Every person shall give written notice to the Secretary to the Commission of all direct or indirect pecuniary or other material or personal interests that he has or acquires in a body corporate involved in a matter at the Commission.

(5)      A disclosure of interest under sub-section (2) shall be made a part of the record of the Commission in that particular matter.

(6)      Where there is such disclosure of interest,–

(a)      such person shall not, save as provided in sub-Sections (7) and (8) take part nor be present in any investigation, research, deliberation or decision of the Commission as the case may be; and

(b)      such person shall be disregarded for the purpose of constitution of a quorum or performance of a task, as the case may be.

(7)      Any person who fails to disclose his interest as required by this section shall, on proof of such act, be liable to removal from the Commission.

(8)      It shall be a valid defense for a person charged with the allegation of failure to disclose such interest under sub-section (7), if such person proves that he was not aware of the facts constituting such allegation and that he exercised due care and diligence in discovering the facts which he ought reasonably to have known in the circumstances.

25.   Removal.–Appointment of any member or employee of the Commission may, at any time, be revoked by order of the Federal Government if it is found that such person stands disqualified on the grounds and in the manner as prescribed.

26.   Powers to make rules.–(1) The Commission may, with the prior approval of the Federal Government, and by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2)  The Commission shall make regulations for terms and conditions of employment for its employees.

27.   Indemnity.–No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any member or any officer or employee of the Commission or any other person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act, Any Trade Remedy Laws, any rules or orders made thereunder or in respect of the publication by or under the authority of the Commission of any report, paper or proceedings.

28.   Repeal.–The National Tariff Commission Act, 1990 (VI of 1990) is hereby repealed.

29.   Savings.–(1) Notwithstanding the repeal under Section 28, nothing in this Act shall affect or be deemed to affect anything done, action taken, investigation or proceedings commenced, order, rule, regulation, appointment, document, or agreement made, fee directed, resolution passed, direction given, proceedings taken, or instrument executed or issued under or pursuant to the Repealed Act and any such thing, action, investigation, proceedings, order, rule, regulation, appointment, document, agreement, fee, resolution, direction, proceedings or instrument shall, if in force on the commencement date and not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act, continue in force and have effect as if it had been respectively done, taken, commenced, made, directed, passed, given, executed or issued under this Act.

(2)  Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, judgment or decision of the Courts, all acts, procedures and decisions of the Commission made from September 2013 shall till date be deemed to have been validly made by the Commission.

30.   Act to override other laws.–The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force.

THE SCHEDULE

[See Section 13 (2)]

The Commission shall complete its enquiries and investigations under this Act as follows, namely:–

(i)       an enquiry or investigation for tariff and non-tariff protection or assistance to domestic industry shall, except in special circumstances, be completed within a period not exceeding sixty days, and in no case more than one hundred and twenty days after initiation;

(ii)      an enquiry or investigation for increase or decrease in tariff on the application of trading business or importers shall, except in special circumstances, be completed within a period not exceeding sixty days, and in no case more than one hundred and twenty days after initiation;

(iii)     an enquiry or investigation for removal of tariff anomaly shall, except in special circumstances, be completed within a period no exceeding thirty days, and in no case more than one hundred twenty days after initiation;