219-Minute debate on Budgetary Proposals in Low Attendance 10th Sitting

ISLAMABAD, June 15, 2010: The National Assembly debated the budgetary proposals for 4 hours and 14 minutes at the tenth sitting of the ongoing budget session. Sixty members were present at the outset of the sitting while 40 at the end, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on National Assembly proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 04 hours and 14 minutes.
  • The tenth sitting started at 1130 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours. The House proceedings started late by 30 minutes.
  • The Speaker chaired the sitting for 37 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker presided over the sitting for 99 minutes. Nawab Yousaf Talpur and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, members of the Panel of Chairpersons, chaired the sitting for 69 and 49 minutes, respectively.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 33 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
  • Parliamentary Leader of only PPPS was present, while the leaders of PML, MQM, ANP, PMLF, NPP, MMAP and BNPA did not attend the sitting.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML and PPPS were present, while those of MQM, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • As many as five Members appealed for leave to be absent.
  • Sixty (18%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 40 (12%) members were present when the Speaker adjourned the sitting.
  • Seven minority members were present during the tenth sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • As many as 17 members spoke on the budgetary proposals presented during the third sitting.
  • As many as seven members of PPPP spoke for a total of 86 minutes. Five members of PMLN took 65 minutes to speak on the proposed budget. Three PML members took 46 minutes, while one legislator each from ANP and MMAP took 15 and 13 minutes, respectively, to give their opinion on budgetary proposals.
  • The Minister for Finance and Revenue was present during the sitting for 36 minutes.

Order and institutionalization

  • Three Points of Order were raised, taking up 17 minutes of the House proceedings.
  • There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
  • There was one instance of protest by ANP and PPPP members over the comment by a female PML member, who supported the construction of Kalabagh Dam in her speech. The protest lasted five minutes and ended after the intervention of PPP’s Chief Whip.


  • Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.

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