ISLAMABAD, January 29, 2012: Starting 40 minutes late, the sixth sitting of Senate’s 90th session was marked by low attendance. Only six Senators in the 104-member Upper House were present at the outset and 11 at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 38 Senators were present at one point of sitting.
The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Bill 2012, one of the two bills appearing on the agenda, was taken up and sent to the Standing Committee while the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2012 was deferred. A Standing Committee report on the Investigation of Fair Trial Bill 2012 was also presented.
Two ordinances were also laid before the House. These were the Services of Pakistan (Redressal of Under-Representation) Ordinance 2012 (Ordinance No.VII of 2012) and the Establishment of the Office of Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 (Ordinance No.VIII of 2012).
The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Leader of the House, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, JUIF and NP attended the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- Senate met for two hours and 32 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1110 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 40 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was also present.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, JUIF and NP were present whereas those of PML, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
- Only six Senators were present at the start while 17 were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 38 Senators were present at one point of sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any Senator.
- One minority Senator attended the sitting.
- Three Senators applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seventeen starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 23 supplementary questions were asked.
- Two ordinances – The Services of Pakistan (Redressal of Under-Representation) Ordinance, 2012 (Ordinance No.VII of 2012) and The Establishment of the Office of Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 2012 (Ordinance No.VIII of 2012) – were laid before the house.
- The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Bill 2012 was taken up and sent to the Standing Committee.
- The other bill appearing on the agenda – the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2012 –was deferred.
- A Standing Committee report on the Investigation of Fair Trial Bill 2012 was presented by the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
Order and Institutionalization
- Thirteen points of order consumed 70 minutes of the sitting time.
- Legislators belonging to BNPA and JUIF jointly staged a walkout over imposition of Governor Rule in Balochistan.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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