ISLAMABAD, November 21, 2011: The National Assembly did not take up the National Commission for Human Rights Bill 2011 during the sixth sitting, which lasted two hours and five minutes. The sitting was marked by low attendance, with only 31 Legislators present at the outset, while 84 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
Although the Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, the Members, Election Commission (Oath of office, term, salary, allowances, perks and privileges) Bill 2011 was taken up and sent to respective Standing Committee.
A maximum of 142 Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting, however, only nine leave applications were submitted.
Members raised a total of 24 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 34% of the sitting time.
The Prime Minister did not attend the proceedings, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 35 minutes. Only the parliamentary leaders of the PPPS and BNPA were present.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and five minutes.
- The sixth sitting started at 1725 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 25 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the initial 56 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the proceedings, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 35 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of PPPS and BNPA attended the sitting, while leaders of PML, ANP, MMAP, NPP, MQM and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, PMLF, ANP and MQM were present, while those of the MMAP and NPP were absent.
- A total of 31 (9%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 84 (25%) Members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 142 Members (42%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- Nine Members applied for leave to be absent.
- As many as four out of 10 minority Members were present during the 6th 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, three males and two females, the CAN was regarding “delay in the PIA flights specially Hajj flights”, which was directed to Ministry of Defence.
- A total of 22 questions were listed to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only seven questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 20 supplementary questions were raised in the House during the sitting.
- The Members, Election Commission (Oath of office, term, salary, allowances, perks and privileges) Bill 2011was introduced and sent to respective Standing Committee.
- The National Commission for Human Rights Bill 2011was not taken up.
- The Standing Committee report on the Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill 2010 was presented to the House.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 24 Points of Order were raised, consuming 42 minutes (34%) of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- An Adjournment Motion on increase in the prices of electricity was raised by PMLN Members.
- A Motion under Rule 259 on urea shortage was taken up by the House. The debate on the motion is likely to start from Wednesday.
- 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 lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of Quorum was not pointed out by any of the Members of 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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