ISLAMABAD, May 10, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 21 minutes during the 17th sitting of the ongoing 30th Session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members with only 9% of the legislators present at the outset of the sitting and 20% at the end.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the Members of the National Assembly.
A total of 40 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 55% of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s formal ruling
The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill, 2010 was unanimously passed by the National Assembly during the course of the sitting.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 35 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present. The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 21 minutes.
- The seventeenth sitting started at 1030 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 30 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the proceedings. The entire sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 35 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, while the leaders of the ANP, MQM, MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, PMLF, ANP, MMAP and MQM were present, while the chief whip of the BNPA were absent.
- A total of 31 (9%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 69 (20%) Members were present at the end of the sitting.
- Maximum presence of 128 Members (37%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- A total of 11 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as seven out of 10 Minority Members were present during the 17thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The taken up CAN was regarding the “delay in construction work on Gandhi D.I. Khan Road”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Communications, and was moved by two Members of the PML and one Member each of the MMAP and PMLN.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill, 2010 was unanimously passed by the National Assembly during the course of the sitting.
- The Right to Information Bill, 2010 was not taken up during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 40 Points of Order were raised, consuming 77 minutes (55% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Point of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- A total of five Resolutions were tabled on the Orders of the Day, which were not taken up by the House.
- There was no adjournment motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- The House debated upon the Motion Under Rule 259 regarding the situation arising out of unemployment in the country. A total of eight Members spoke on the motion, which included four Members of the PML, two Members of the MMAP and two Independents.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day were 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 Members of the National Assembly.
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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