ISLAMABAD, December 20, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 30 minutes during the fourth sitting of the 37th session. Only the parliamentary leaders of the ANP, PPPS and NPP attended the proceedings.
The issue of Members’ low attendance persisted during this sitting as well. Only 20 Legislators were present at the start, while 54 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The National Assembly did not address 75% of the agenda. The House did not take up 13 Private Members’ Bills, five Motions under Rule 259, five Resolutions, one Calling Attention Notice and one proposed Amendment to the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the National Assembly.
Members raised a total of 40 Points of Order which consumed 67% of the total time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The Prime Minister attended the siting for 20 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 30 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1045 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 45 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the initial 94 minutes, while the remaining sitting was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Speaker was not present
- The Prime Minister attended the siting for 20 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the ANP, PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the MQM, BNPA, MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN and PML were present, while those of the MMAP, MQM, BNPA, ANP and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 20 (6%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 54 (16%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- Three Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Five minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up one out of two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- Moved by five PMLN Members, four males and one female, the CAN was regarding “double tariff of electricity particularly in the evening hours”, which was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members’ Day.
- A total of 18 Bills were listed on the Orders of the Day. Five Bills – The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011 and the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2011 – were taken up, and sent to the respective Standing Committee (Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs).
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 40 Points of Order were raised, consuming 100 minutes (67% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- An Adjournment Motion regarding load shedding of gas was raised by a PMLN Member. The debate on the Motion is likely to start from Wednesday.
- The Matter of Public Importance regarding Afghan Transit Trade 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.
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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