ISLAMABAD, October 6, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 45 minutes during the 4th sitting of the ongoing 35th session. Like previous sittings of the session, the quorum was lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not raised by any of the Members. A total of 38 Legislators were observed to be present at the outset of the sitting, while 50 Members were present when it was adjourned.
The House continued debates on the energy crisis, power outages, increase in prices of petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues. A total of 12 Members spoke on these issues for 146 minutes
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for eight minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 76 minutes. The parliamentary party of the PMLN boycotted the fourth sitting on the issue of power outages and increase in prices of petroleum products. They went out of the House at 1211 hours and did not come back to attend the proceedings.
The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, while 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 45 minutes.
- The fourth sitting started at 1040 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 40 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the sitting. A Member of Panel of Chairpersons chaired the sitting for 50 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for eight minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 76 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, while the leaders of PML, ANP, MMAP, MQM, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML and ANP were present, while the chief whips of the MQM, MMAP and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 38 (11%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 50 (15%) Members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 132 Members (39%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- A total of 10 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as nine out of 10 minority Members were present during the 4th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House continued debates on the energy crisis, load-shedding, price hike in petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues.
- A total of 12 Members – five PPPP, four PMLN, and one Member each of the PML, ANP and NPP – spoke on these issues for 146 minutes.
- There were no Bills on the Orders of the Day.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of three Points of Order were raised, consuming seven minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted the Speaker’s ruling.
- The parliamentary party of the PMLN boycotted the fourth sitting on the issue of load shedding of electricity and price hike of petroleum products. They went out of the House at 1211 hours and did not come back to attend the remaining proceedings of the House.
- 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 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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