ISLAMABAD, June 5, 2012: Starting an hour and seven minutes late, the third sitting of Senate’s 82nd session, which met for an hour and 51 minutes, debated budget amid low attendance by Senators on Tuesday.
With only nine legislators present at the start and 26 when the sitting was adjourned, a maximum of 42 Senators were observed at any time of the sitting.
As the federal budget for 2012-13 was presented in the first sitting, four Senators spoke on the Annual Budget Statement – one each of PPPP, MQM, JUIF and PMLN – for 90 minutes (81% of sitting time).
The Leader of the House was present for 40 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- Senate met for one hour and 51 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1737 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1630 hours. The House proceedings started late by an hour and seven minutes.
- The Deputy Chairman chaired the sitting.
- The Leader of the House was present for 40 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of MQM, PMLF and ANP attended the sitting.
- Nine Senators (9% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 26 (25%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Three Members applied for leave to be absent.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue presented the budget on June 1. After the 18th amendment, the Senate has 14 days to give recommendations on the budget.
- Four Senators spoke on the Annual Budget Statement – one each of PPPP, MQM, JUIF and PMLN – for 90 minutes (81% of sitting time).
- The House debated the Annual Budget Statement.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order consumed five minutes of the sitting time.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budget speech were available to Senators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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