ISLAMABAD, November 6, 2015: The Senate’s sitting on Friday did not take up 85% questions appearing on the agenda as most of the time during question hour was consumed in answering supplementary questions, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started at its scheduled time with 13 legislators (12%) present at the start and 28 (27%) at the time of its adjournment.
Five out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and were responded to by the relevant ministers. The rest of the questions remained unaddressed as lawmakers raised more than three supplementary questions allowed under Rule 57 of the Senate Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
Following are some key observations of the House proceeding:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 27 minutes.
- The sitting started at its scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting for an hour and 7 minutes while rest of the proceedings was chaired by Deputy Chairman.
- The Prime Minister was not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for an hour and 37 minutes.
- 13 senators (12%) were present at outset and 28 (27%) at end of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, JUI-F, MQM, BNP-M, PTI, PML-N and PML were present.
- Two minority members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised 26 supplementary questions during the sitting.
- The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding postponement of the OIC summit on Science and Technology scheduled to be held in Islamabad from November 9 to November 11, 2015.
- Another CAN about non-payment of salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) for the last two months and non-payment of gratuity to the retired employees of PSM since 2013 was deferred. The sponsor of CAN belonging to PPPP requested the Chair in written to defer it due to his absence.
- The House passed a motion moved by MQM male lawmaker to extend the time for presentation of the report on a Private Member’s Bill titled “the Islamabad Mandatory Vaccination and Protection of Health Workers Bill, 2015” for period of 30 days with effect from November 6, 2015.
- The House passed a motion to adopt the report of the Special Committee on the issue of lapse of various foreign scholarships offered by different countries for the students of Pakistan. The issue was raised during zero hour by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed on July 8, 2015. Six lawmakers spoke on it for 13 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eighteen points of public importance consumed 40 minutes of the proceeding’s time.
- A female lawmaker of PML-N and a male lawmaker of PkMAP protested for one minute against not taking up their questions despite being on the agenda.
- Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers was available to observers and media.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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