ISLAMABAD, June 22, 2011: The 16th sitting of the ongoing budget session witnessed relatively high attendance of Members with a maximum 56 present attendance. The long stretched sitting voted on the Finance Bill, 2011, which was eventually passed by the House with a majority vote.
The entire process of the passage of bill took 165 minutes (72% of sitting time).
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 163 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 60. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MQM, PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the Leaders of other parties did not attend the proceedings of the 16th sitting.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 50 minutes.
- The sixteenth sitting started at 1125 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 85 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 205 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 25 minutes.
- The Prime Minister was present for 163 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 60 minutes.
- The Parliamentary leaders of the PML, MQM, PPPS and NPP were present during the sitting, while those of the MMAP, ANP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- The Chief Whips of the MQM, BNPA and MMAP remained absent, while those of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, PMLF and ANP were present.
- A total of 118 (35%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 39 (11%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 212 (62%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was present during the sitting.
- A total of 10 Members appealed for the leave to be absent from the proceedings of the sitting.
- All of the minorities Members were present during the course of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the Calling Attention Notice.
- The first taken up CAN was regarding the “increase in the incidents of kidnapping in the country, particularly in Islamabad”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Interior, and was moved by four Members of the PPPP and one Member of the ANP.
- The other CAN was regarding the “problems of thousands of employees of National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) as a result of its devolution”, which was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat. This CAN was sponsored by five Members of the MQM.
- The National Assembly accepted by majority 137 demands for grants for various Ministries.
- The Finance Bill, 2011 was taken up and subsequently passed by the House. The entire process of the passage of bill took 165 minutes (72% of sitting time).
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 16 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 82 minutes of the sitting time.
- There was no Adjournment Motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- Four Minority Members expressed their reservations regarding handing over the Ministry for Minority Affairs to the provinces. Their protest ended when the Prime Minister intervened. The protest lasted three minutes.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but it was not pointed out by any the Members.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budgetary proposals were available to the concerned.
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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