ISLAMABAD, June 08, 2011: The National Assembly met for four hours and 20 minutes during the 4th sitting of the ongoing budget session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 31 Members present at the outset of the sitting, while 43 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The Members continued to debate on the budgetary proposals, and 85% of fourth sitting time was taken up by the general debate. Ten Members – three each of the PPPP and PMLN, two of the MQM and one each of the MMAP and PML – spoke on the budgetary proposals for three hours and 42 minutes.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 20 minutes.
- The fourth sitting started at 1051 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 51 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 87 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker presided over the sitting for 36 minutes.
- Two Members of Panel of Chairpersons, including Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel and Ms. Khush Bakht Shujaat chaired the proceedings of the House for 52 and 85 minutes, respectively.
- The Prime Minister was present for 25 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- The Parliamentary leaders of the MMAP, NPP, PPPS, BNPA and PML were present during the sitting, while those of the MQM, ANP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- The Chief Whip of the ANP remained absent, while those of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, MMAP, MQM, PPPS, NPP, PMLF and BNPA were present.
- A total of 31 (9%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 43 (13%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 168 (49%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was present during the sitting.
- A total of 12 Members appealed for the leave to be absent from the proceedings of the fourth sitting.
- A total of nine 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 “non-availability of clean drinking water to the general public in all parts of the country particularly in Islamabad”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Planning and Development, and was moved by five Members of the PPPP.
- A total of 10 Members took part in the debate on the budgetary proposals. The Parliamentary Leader of the MMAP spoke on budget for 38 minutes. Three Members each of the PPPP and PMLN spoke for 75 and 51 minutes, respectively. A total of two MQM Members took 39 minutes to present their viewpoint on the budgetary proposals, while one PML Member spoke on the topic for 19 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- There was no Adjournment Motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- Members of the ANP expressed reservations regarding the treatment of their workers in Karachi. They walked out of the House at 1115 Hours and did not come back to attend the remaining proceedings of the sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but it was not pointed out by any the Members.
- 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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