ISLAMABAD, December 29, 2015: The Senate witnessed low attendance of lawmakers on Tuesday during the 10th sitting of its 122nd session and debated an adjournment motion (AM) regarding the mini budget envisaging additional taxes of Rs. 40 billion, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The House witnessed low attendance with only 13 (12%) legislators present at the start and 22 (21%) at the time of adjournment of the sitting.
Some key observations are as follows:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 41 minutes.
- The sitting started three minutes late against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- Chairman presided over the sitting for two hours and 55 minutes while rest of the proceeding was chaired by the Deputy Chairman.
- The House had a prayer break for 20 minutes.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for 105 minutes.
- Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- Federal Ministers for Climate Change; Commerce; Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan; Defence and SAFRON, State Ministers for Parliamentary Affairs; CADD; National Health Services and Regulation and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs were present.
- Thirteen (12%) senators were present at the start and 22 (21%) at the time of adjournment.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML-N, MQM, PkMAP, BNP-M, PPPP and NP were present.
- One minority member was present.
- Minister for Climate Change introduced the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2015. It was referred to the relevant committee for further deliberations.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House passed two motions under Rule 194 (1) to extend the presentation period of two reports. The first report was about compliant cell to deal with complaints against private Hajj and Umra Operators while other was about the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2015.
- All 19 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while the Senators also raised six supplementary questions.
- The House did not take up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the agenda. Due to non-appearance of Minster for Railways to respond the first CAN about dilapidated condition of the tunnel on railway track near Taxila, it was referred to the Privileges Committee. Another CAN about use of milk booster injections to milk yielding cattle to enhance the production was not taken up due to absence of mover.
- The House debated an adjournment motion (AM) regarding the mini budget envisaging additional taxes of Rs. 40 billion. Eleven lawmakers spoke on it for 43 percent (96 minutes) of the proceeding time.
- The House discussed recent visit of Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan and visit of Chief of Army Staff to Afghanistan. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs briefed the House about it.
- State Minister for National Health Services and Regulations briefed the House about Prime Minister’s Health Program. She spoke for eight minutes on it.
- The House did not admit any AM on the agenda. Two AMs about hanging of senior political leaders of Jamat-e-Islami and BNP in Bangladesh and non-completion of alternate road at Margalla Avenue, Islamabad were dropped due to absence of movers. Another AM about protest of thousands of teachers belonging to FATA in Islamabad for their promotion was not admitted as the similar issue has been discussed by the House in the recent past.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two points of public importance consumed three minutes of the proceeding’s time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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