FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan, Second (Budget) Session June 12-28, 2013

Only 41% of legislators took part in the first budget session of the 14th National Assembly as the government’s decision to implement the increase in the General Sales Tax (GST) before the passage of the budget was criticized by the opposition. On the other hand the Supreme Court also ruled the government had no legal authority to levy and charge 17 per cent GST without the parliamentary approval. The session, that spread over 13 sittings from June 12 to June 28, 2013, lasted 85 hours. On average, each sitting started 20 minutes late and met for six hours and 32 minutes.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan 50th Session (February 17 — March 14, 2013)

The 13th National Assembly, completing its historic five years tenure, achieved a legislative agenda which altered the country’s governance structure by ensuring provincial autonomy and restoring the 1973 constitution, and promoted women’s empowerment. However, the last session of the assembly was marked by low interest of members as low attendance persisted throughout the session, and the lower house left 70% of the agenda appearing on the Orders of the Day unaddressed. The 50th session witnessed the passage of bills on counter-terrorism, general elections, education and health. Maintaining the tradition of political consensus over legislation and other national interest issues, the house unanimously passed 15 bills, including two amendments to the Anti-terrorism Act to expand the powers of law enforcement agencies to tackle financing for acts of terrorism and empowering them to detain suspects for a period of thirty days. In addition, a bill was passed to set up the National Counter Terrorism Authority.

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13th National Assembly of Pakistan: Annual Report 2012-2013

The fifth parliamentary year of the 13th National Assembly witnessed the tussle between the executive and judiciary reaching the parliament as an elected Prime Minister was disqualified by the Supreme Court which also struck down the contempt of court law passed by the parliament. The first half of the parliamentary year was consumed by the tussle between the judiciary and the executive over implementing the Supreme Court’s verdict in the NRO case as the National Assembly passed two resolutions to express confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister and backing the Speaker’s decision of not sending the premier’s disqualification to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

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13th National Assembly of Pakistan: Annual Report 2011-2012

National security, political instability, civil-military relations, executive-judiciary tension, and the energy crisis largely defined the agenda for the 13th National Assembly during its fourth parliamentary year that ended on March 16, 2012. The year was particularly tumultuous for Pakistan as well as for the legislature in terms of agenda-setting that was difficult and critical.

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