ISLAMABAD, June 11, 2012: Five legislators took part in the debate on budget on Monday as the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Minister for Finance did not attend the seventh sitting of the National Assembly’s 42nd session.
Starting an hour and 35 minutes late, the House met for two hours and 25 minutes. Though 90 legislators were present at the start of the sitting, only 65 were in the House when it was adjourned. A maximum of 124 legislators were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
Five legislators – two from PPPP and one each from MQM, PML and an Independent – spoke on the budget for 91 minutes (63% of sitting time).
Only the Parliamentary leaders of NPP and BNPA were present while the leaders of PML, ANP, MQM, MMAP and PMLN were absent. The Speaker chaired the sitting for 53 minutes and remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
The main opposition party PMLN boycotted the sitting. Though the Quorum was pointed out by a PMLN Member, on count 105 Members were present in the House.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 25 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1835 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by an hour and 35 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 53 minutes and remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the Parliamentary leaders of NPP and BNPA were present while the leaders of PML, ANP, MQM, MMAP and PMLN were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PML, ANP BNPA, MMAP and NPP were present.
- A total of 90 (26%) legislators were present at the start and 65 (19%) at the end of the sitting.
- The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue did not attend the sitting.
- Six Minority Members were present.
- Seven Members applied for leave to be absent.
- The House witnessed a 42-minute prayer break.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There was no other agenda on the Orders of the Day.
- Five legislators – two from PPPP and one each from MQM, PML and an Independent – spoke on the budget for 91 minutes (63% of sitting time).
Order and institutionalization
- NO Points of Order was raised the sitting time.
- PMLN legislators did not attend the entire sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- Copies of the budget speech were available to the legislators.
- The Quorum was pointed out by a PMLN Member but on count, 105 Members were present.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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