ISLAMABAD, February 25, 2013: Starting an hour and 33 minutes late, the sixth sitting of 50th session that met for two hours and 53 minutes on Monday passed two Government bills.
The Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Bill 2013 and The Global Change Impact Studies Centre Bill 2012 were passed unanimously by the House. The Anti-terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill 2013 was presented by the Law and Justice Minister.
The sitting was marked by low attendance as 46 legislators (13% of the total membership) were present at the start while 52 (15%) were there at adjournment.
The Prime Minister, the Speaker as well as the parliamentary leaders of MQM, MMAP, PML, PMLF and ANP did not attend the sitting. The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting as the deputy speaker presided over the entire sitting.
MQM Members staged an eight minute walkout over the remarks of the Sindh Education Minister over not allowing a university in Hyderabad.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 53 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1833 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 33 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
- the Leader of the Opposition was present for 58 minutes whereas the Prime Minister remained absent.
- Only the parliamentary leader of and PPPS attended the sitting where as those of MMAP, PML, NPP, ANP, MQM, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
- The chief whips of PPPP, PMLN, ANP, MMAP and PPPS were present whereas those of MQM, PML, BNPA, NPP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- Forty-six members were present at the outset while 52 were there at the end. A maximum of 132 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Six Members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Fourteen starred question (requiring oral answers) were asked. Out of these nine questions were answered. Additionally, 10 supplementary questions were also asked by the Members.
- The agenda under rule 259 to discuss law and order was not taken up.
- A Calling Attention Notice about the rampant increase of unregistered NGOs in various parts of the country, remained unaddressed as the Interior Minister was absent.
- Two bills appearing on the Orders of the Day were passed unanimously by the House. These were regarding The Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Bill 2013 and The Global Change Impact Studies Centre Bill 2012.
- A bill—The Anti-terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill 2013 was presented by the Law and Justice Minister.
- The Annual Report for the year 2011-2012 of the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan on the State of Pakistan’s economy as required by section 9A (f) of the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956, was laid before the assembly.
- The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice presented the report of the Standing Committee on The Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms Bill 2013.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order consumed 15 minutes.
- MQM Members staged an eight minute walkout over the remarks of the Sindh Education Minister over not allowing a university in Hyderabad.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN
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