Construction of water reservoirs by India remains to be a major matter of concern for the legislators during the low attendance 13th sitting of the 19th session. The House debated the issue for an hour and 30 minutes. A total of 58 members were present at the outset, while only 45 members were present at the end of the sitting, reports the Free and Fair Election Network [FAFEN] in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 3 hours and 14 minutes.
- The thirteenth sitting started at 1653 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 53 minutes.
- The Speaker and the Relevant Minister were present, while the Deputy Speaker remained absent during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were present during the course of the sitting.
- Parliamentary leader of MQM and PPPS were present while the leaders of PML, MMAP, ANP, NPP, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
- 10 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the parliamentary sitting.
- A total of 58 members were present at the start of the sitting, while 45 members were present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one.
- The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Commerce regarding ‘scrapping of two tenders in one week by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to import sugar’. This CAN was raised by 4 members of PMLN.
- There were 24 questions on today’s agenda; however, only 10 questions were raised and responded to in the 13th sitting.
- There were 2 Bills on the Orders of the Day both the bills were taken up by the House.
- The first Bill taken up [The Federal Value Added Tax Bill, 2010] was moved by the Federal Finance Minister while second Bill [The Federal Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2010] was moved by the Minister in-charge of Establishment Division.
- Out of the two bills, one was approved by the Lower Chamber and sent to the respective Standing Committee, while the remainder was deferred to the next sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- 18 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required the Speaker’s ruling.
- The House continued debating admitted Adjournment Motion on “construction of water reservoirs by India on rivers in violation of Indus Basin Water Treaty”. The House debated the issue for an hour and 30 minutes.
- There was no instance of protest during the thirteenth sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the present members.
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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