ISLAMABAD, January 25, 2011: The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes during the 2nd sitting of the ongoing 28th session. The Private Members’ Sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with 66 Members present at the outset and 106 present at the end.
The proceedings were put to a halt when Members of the MQM and PMLN exchanged heated words, after one of the MQM Members raised concerns regarding the Law and Order situation in Punjab.
Preceding this commotion, the National Assembly was taking up more business items in 2nd sitting as compared to other Private Members’ Day sittings.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 15 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML and PPPS were the only ones present, while the remaining party leaders remained absent. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1105 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 65 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for the initial 90 minutes, while the remaining 10 minutes were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 15 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary Leaders of the PML and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the MMAP, ANP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP and PMLN were present, while the Chief Whips of the PML, ANP, MMAP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 66 (19%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 86 (25%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- Three Members applied for leave to be absent from Tuesday’s sitting.
- As many as seven out of 10 minority Members were present during the 2nd sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took one CAN.
- The CAN was regarding “non-utilization of huge funds for rehabilitation of the flood affectees”. The CAN was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat and was moved by five Members of the PML.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- Six Private Members Bills were listed on the Orders of the Day.
- The Abolition of Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill, 2011was taken up by the House and sent to the Standing Committee on Housing for further deliberations.
- The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2011 (Substitution of Article 251) was also taken up by the House and sent to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
- Out of the remaining four bills, the Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was rejected by the House, while other three bills were deferred.
- Two Standing Committee reports were presented during the proceedings, regarding the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2009 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2010
Order and institutionalization
- 16 Points of Order was raised, consuming 49 minutes (49% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders 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.
- A total of five Motions Under Rule 259 were listed on the agenda, but were not taken up by the House.
- One Matter of Public Importance regarding “rapid increase in the ratio of TB patients in the country” was also listed for the Private Members’ Day agenda, but was not taken up by the House.
- Members of the MQM and PMLN got into a brawl, after one of the MQM Members raised some concerns over the law and order situation in Punjab on a Point of Order. Both the Parliamentary Parties started sloganeering against each other, which forced the Deputy Speaker to adjourn the sitting’s proceedings.
- Orders of the Day were 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 National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN.
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