ISLAMABAD, June 04, 2012: The Leader of the Opposition who traditionally opens the debate on budget did not attend the first sitting on Monday after the presentation of budget two days back.
Starting an hour and 15 minutes late, the Lower House met for three and 26 minutes. It witnessed low attendance. Ninety-five legislators were present at the outset, while only 42 were there when the sitting was adjourned.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, along with the parliamentary leaders of the MMAP, ANP and PMLF, did not attend the sitting.
Since the Leader of the Opposition was absent, the general debate on debate was initiated by a PMLN Member. He spoke for an hour and 32 minutes.
Towards the end of the sitting PMLN legislators staged a walkout against the budget. They went out of the House at 2138 hours and did not come back to attend the remaining three minutes of the proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 26 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1815 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by an hour and 15 minutes.
- A Member of Panel of Chairpersons chaired the sitting for 66 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, PPPS, NPP and BNPA were present while the leaders of MMAP, ANP and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP and MQM were present.
- A total of 95 (28%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 42 (12%) at the end of the sitting.
- The House took a 38-minute break.
- The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue attended the sitting for 100 minutes.
- Ten Minority Members were present.
- Fourteen Members applied for leave to be absent.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There was no other agenda on the Orders of the Day.
- The Finance Bill 2012 was presented in the House on June 1, 2012.
- Since the Leader of the Opposition was absent, the general debate on debate was initiated by a PMLN Member. He spoke for an hour and 32 minutes.
- The House adopted a Resolution calling on the Federal Government to extend the time period of the Drug Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2012.
Order and institutionalization
- Two Points of Order consumed four minutes of the sitting time.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- Towards the end of the sitting PMLN legislators staged a walkout against the budget. They went out of the House at 2138 hours and did not come back to attend the remaining three minutes of the proceedings.
- Orders of the Day was 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 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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