ISLAMABAD, June 16, 2011: The National Assembly met for six hours and 11 minutes during the 11th sitting of the ongoing budget session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 10% Members present at the outset of the sitting and 11% present when the sitting was adjourned.
The Members continued the general discussion on Budget 2011-2012, and more than three fourths (78%) of the eleventh sitting time was taken up by this debate. Twenty six Members including 11 of PPPP, seven of PMLN, four of ANP, one Independent and one Member each of PML, MQM and MMAP spoke on the Budget for four hours and forty eight minutes.
The Senate recommended a total of 66 budgetary proposals during the 11th sitting. Three Members debated on these budgetary proposals for 39 minutes. One male Member of the PMLN took 21 minutes while two female Members of the PPPP debated for 18 minutes.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for six hours and 11 minutes.
- The eleventh sitting started at 1052 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 52 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 44 minutes and the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 73 minutes. A male member of Panel of Chairpersons chaired the sitting for the remaining time.
- The Prime Minister was present for 24 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML and PPPS were present during the sitting.
- Chief Whips of the PPPP, PML, MQM, ANP and PPPS were present while those of other parliamentary parties were absent.
- A total of 35 (10%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, and 37 (11%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 125 (36%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was present in the 11th sitting.
- Ten Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Eight 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 CAN.
- The taken up CAN was regarding the “violations of human rights in the country”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Human Rights, and was moved by five Members- three female and two male- of the MQM.
- Twenty six Members took part in the debate on the budgetary proposals. Eleven Members of PPPP spoke on the budget for 107 minutes, seven Members of PMLN took 54 minutes while four Members of ANP debated for a total of 35 minutes. One Member each of the PML, MQM, MMAP and an Independent Member spoke on the topic for 20, 11, 13, 48 minutes, respectively.
- The Senate put forward a total of 66 budgetary proposals during the 11th sitting. Three Members debated on the budgetary proposals for 39 minutes. One male Member of the PMLN took 21 minutes while two female Members of the PPPP debated for 18 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four Points of Order were raised, which consumed eight 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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