ISLAMABAD, April 19, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 37 minutes during the 7th sitting of the ongoing 30th session in which Member raised 46 Points of Order, which consumed 70% of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s formal ruling.
The 7th sitting witnessed low Members’ attendance, with only 56 Members present at the outset and 52 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
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.
There were four bills on the Orders of the Day, which were taken up and sent to respective Standing Committees.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 30 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 37 minutes.
- The seventh sitting started at 1108 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 68 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the initial 89 minutes of the sitting, while the remaining time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Speaker was not present during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 30 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 PPPP, PMLN, PML, PMLF, and MQM were present, while the chief whips of ANP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 56 (16%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 52 (15%) Members were present at the end of the sitting.
- Maximum presence of 131 Members (38%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- A total of 12 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as nine out of 10 Minority Members were present during the 7thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the CANs.
- The first CAN was regarding the “unrest in the Engineers’ community due to their service structure and delay in the election of Pakistan Engineering Council”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Science and Technology and was moved by three Members of the PMLN.
- The other CAN was regarding the “supply of contaminated water to the people, below the standard set by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) resulting in diseases and deaths” which was directed to the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Planning and Development. This CAN was moved by five Members of the PML.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- There were four bills on the Orders of the Day. [The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2011], [The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2011], [The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2011] and [The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2011] were sent to respective Standing Committees for further deliberations.
- One Standing Committee Reports regarding The Compulsory School Attendance Bill, 2008 was presented to the House during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 46 Points of Order were raised, consuming 109 minutes (70% 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.
- 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 ““Afghan Transit Trade Agreement-2010 and its effects on the economy of Pakistan” was also listed for the Private Members’ Day agenda, but was not taken up by the House.
- 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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