ISLAMABAD, December 21, 2010: The National Assembly met for two hours and 30 minutes during the 2nd sitting of the ongoing 27th session. The attendance of Members was observed to be relatively better than the previous sitting, with 109 Members present at the outset and 86 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
A total of 14 Members debated upon the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform’s report for 45 minutes. There were three bills on the Orders of the Day, out of which the Imports and Exports (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was taken up and sent to its respective Standing Committee.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 25 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one 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 two hours and 30 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1645 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 45 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for the initial 105 minutes, while the remaining time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 25 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPS were present, while the leaders of the MMAP, ANP, MQM, PML, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML and ANP were present, while the chief whips of the MMAP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 109 (32%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 86 (25%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- Seven Members applied for leave to be absent from Tuesday’s sitting.
- As many as nine 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 “refusal of visa to 300 Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of their founder’s day in Pakistan”. The CAN was directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was moved by four Members of the PPPP.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- Three Private Members Bills [The Imports and Exports (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2010], [The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2010] and [The Right to Information Bill, 2010] were listed on the Orders of the Day.
- The Imports and Exports (Control) Amendment Bill, 2010 was taken up by the House and sent to its respective Standing Committee, while the other two bills were not taken up.
- Two Standing Committee reports were presented during the proceedings, regarding the Registration of Hajj Bill, 2008 and The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2010.
- The Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms presented the report on the Constitutional Reforms, which was debated upon for a total of 45 minutes.
- A total of 14 Members took part in the debates on the Constitutional Reforms. These included six Members of the PPPP, four Members of the PML and one Member each of the PMLN, MQM and ANP. An Independent Member also took part in the debates.
Order and institutionalization
- 11 Points of Order was raised, consuming 36 minutes (24% 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.
- There was no adjournment motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- 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 ““sale of sub-standard quality of drinking water by most of the bottler companies in the country at present” was also listed for the Private Members’ Day agenda, but was not taken up by the House.
- Two walkouts were staged during the course of the entire sitting. On the first instance a female Member of the PPPP expressed her reservations and staged a five-minute walkout on the issue of alleged threats and allegations on PPPP’s performance. On the second occurrence a minority Member of the PMLN staged a walkout on the rise of kidnapping cases of minorities in Sindh. The walkout lasted five minutes.
- 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 the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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