ISLAMABAD, June 10, 2011: The National Assembly met for five hours and 10 minutes during the 6th sitting of the ongoing budget session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 8% Members present at the outset of the sitting and 10% present when the sitting was adjourned.
The Members continued to debate on the budgetary proposals, and 58% of the sixth sitting time was taken up by the general debate on the Budget. Ten Members including four of PPPP and three each of the PMLN and PMLQ spoke on the budgetary proposals for three hours.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for five hours and 10 minutes. This includes one hour and 45 minutes of Friday prayer break.
- The sixth sitting started at 1040 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 40 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 70 minutes. The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for the remaining time.
- The Prime Minister was present for 30 minutes, while the Leader of the aOpposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, NPP and BNPA were present during the sitting.
- Except for Chief Whips of the MQM, PMLF, PPPS and ANP, all others were present.
- A total of 27 (8%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, and 33 (10%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 152 (44%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was not present in the 6th sitting.
- Eight Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of seven out of 10 minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one Calling Attention Notice.
- The taken up CAN was regarding the “shortage of petrol and its sale in black market in the Punjab, causing grave concern amongst the public”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, and was moved by five Members of the PMLN.
- A total of 10 Members took part in the debate on the budgetary proposals. Four Members of PPPP spoke on the budget for 70 minutes. Three Members each of the PMLN and PMLQ spoke on the topic for 60 and 50 minutes, respectively.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two Points of Order were raised, which consumed four minutes of the sitting time.
- No Adjournment Motion was raised during the course of the sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but was not pointed out by any Member.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budgetary proposals were available to the concerned.
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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