ISLAMABAD, October 06, 2010: The National Assembly met for three hours and 34 minutes in the 13th sitting of the ongoing 25th session. The attendance of members at the outset of the sitting was observed to be relatively better, than the previous sittings, with 107 present. However, there were only 31 MNAs present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House passed two bills and raised a total 14 Points of Order which consumed 26% of the sitting time.
A total of six members took part in the debates on the admitted adjournment motion regarding “the incursion of ISAF forces into Pakistan which resulted in the loss of thirty-five lives of Pakistanis” for 52 minutes.
The sitting witnessed a five-minute token walkout by the members of PMLN and PML. The parliamentary parties expressed their reservations on shutting down of the development funds for KP and Haraza areas.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 49 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 84 minutes. None of the Parliamentary Leaders were present to attend the proceedings of the thirteenth sitting. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 34 minutes.
- The thirteenth sitting started at 1741 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 41 minutes.
- A Member of the Panel of Chairpersons presided over the last 80 minutes of the sitting, while the remaining time of the sitting was chaired by the Speaker. The Deputy Speaker remained absent.
- The Prime Minister was present for 49 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 84 minutes.
- None of Parliamentary Leaders attended the thirteenth sitting.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM and MMAP were present, while the chief whips of ANP, PPPS, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 107 (31%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 31 (9%) members at the end of the sitting.
- The House took a 24-minute break for prayers.
- Twenty-three members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as six out of 10 minority members were present during the 13thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The taken up CAN was regarding “increase in the prices of medicines by the pharmaceutical companies” which was directed to the Ministry of Health. The CAN was moved by four members of the PPPP and one member of MMAP.
- The second CAN on the Orders of the Day was regarding “increase in the rate of interest by the State Bank of Pakistan resulting in price-hike, fiscal deficit and reduction in growth rate” which was directed to the Ministries of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development. This CAN was moved by five members of the PMLN.
- A total of 22 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only nine were raised and responded to by the relevant minister
- A total of 11 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the thirteenth sitting
- There were six bills on the Orders of the Day. The House passed two bills [The Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Bill, 2010] and [The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2007], while two bills [The Pakistan Academy of Letters’ Bill, 2010] and [The Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) Bill, 2010] were taken up and sent to their respective Standing Committees.
Order and institutionalization
- 14 Points of Order were raised, consuming 59 minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The House debated on the admitted Adjournment Motion regarding “the incursion of ISAF forces into Pakistan which resulted in the loss of thirty-five lives of Pakistanis” for 52 minutes. As many as six members took part in the debates which included four members of the PMLN and one member of the PPPP and MQM.
- There was one Motion Under Rule 259 on the Orders of the Day, regarding “Human Rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir” which was not taken up by the House.
- There was an instance of a token walkout by members of PMLN and PML. The parliamentary parties expressed their reservations on shutting down the development funds for KP and Haraza areas”. The walkout lasted five minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the members of the National Assembly.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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