ISLAMABAD, June 17, 2011: The National Assembly met for four hours and 50 minutes during the 12th sitting of the ongoing budget session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with a total of 94 Members present at the outset of the sitting, while 80 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The Minister for Finance and Revenue spoke for 55 minutes, and concluded the debate on budgetary proposals. A total of 137 Demands for Grants were presented during the proceedings.
As many as 77 Demands for Grants were accepted with majority vote. It is important to mention that no cut-motions were raised against these grants.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting’s proceedings for 21 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present. The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 50 minutes.
- The twelfth 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 entire sitting time. The Deputy Speaker was also present during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister was present for 21 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- The Parliamentary leader the PPPS was the only one present during the sitting, while the parliamentary leaders of the PML, MQM, ANP, MMAP, BNPA, PMLF and NPP were not present.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML and MMAP were present while those of other parliamentary parties were absent.
- A total of 94 (28%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, and 80 (23%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 136 (39%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was present in the 12th sitting.
- A total of six Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Nine minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the CANs.
- The first CAN was regarding the “increasing grey trafficking i.e., long distance calls made through illegal means in the country”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Information Technology and was moved by three Members of the PMLN.
- The other CAN was regarding the “theft of passports from the office of Karachi Travel Agents Association and non-action by the government despite lapse of a period of one week” which was directed to the Ministry of Interior. This CAN was moved by four Members of the MQM.
- The Minister for Finance and Revenue spoke for 55 minutes, and concluded the debate on budgetary proposals.
- A total of 137 Demands for Grants were presented during the proceedings of the 12th sitting. As many as 77 Demands for Grants with majority vote were accepted by the House. There were no cut-motions raised against these grants.
- As many as 10 Members – seven Members of the PMLN for 48 minutes, one Member each of the PPPP and MMAP for 11 and 10 minutes, respectively, and one Independent Member for five minutes – spoke on the Demands for Grants.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of five Points of Order were raised, which consumed ten minutes of the sitting time.
- No Adjournment Motion was raised during the course of the sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but was not pointed out by any Member.
- 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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