ISLAMABAD, March 12, 2013: The National Assembly unanimously passed three Private Members’ bills in the 17th sitting of the ongoing 50th session. The House also unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the corporal punishment for children.
Five other bills were introduced and referred to the standing committees. The Lower House also took up a calling attention notice about lack of maternal care and child health care in Islamabad Capital Territory’s (ICT) and other government hospitals.
The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the parliamentary leaders of MQM, MMAP, ANP, PML, PMLF, PPPS, and BNPA did not attend the sitting.
Twenty-one Points of Order consumed 48 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
An MMAP member pointed out the quorum at 1425 which led to adjournment of the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 12 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1213 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 13 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the proceedings for an hour and 10 minutes while the remaining proceedings were presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons. The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leader of only NPP was present whereas those of MQM, MMAP, ANP, PML, PMLF, PPPS, and BNPA were absent.
- The chief whips of PPPP, MMAP, PML and NPP attended the sitting whereas those of PMLN, MQM, ANP, and PMLF were not present.
- Eighty-nine members were present at the outset while 57 were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 122 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Nineteen members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up one of the two calling attention notices appearing on the agenda. It was about lack of maternal care and child health care in Islamabad Capital Territory’s (ICT) and other government hospitals.
- The House unanimously passed three Private Member’s bills – the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill 2013, the Reproductive Healthcare and Rights Bill 2013, and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2013.
- Five other bills were introduced and referred to the respective standing committees – the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill 2013, the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013, and the Overseas Pakistanis Facilitation of Voting Bill 2013.
- The House also unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the corporal punishment for children.
- Two standing committee reports about the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) (Amendment) Bill 2010, and the Publication of the Holy Quran (Elimination of Printing and Recordings Errors) (Amendment) Bill 2008 were presented to the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-one points of order consumed 48 minutes of the sitting time.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
- An MMAP member pointed out the quorum at 1425 which led to adjournment of the sitting.
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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