ISLAMABAD, November 11, 2010: National Assembly met for an hour and 44 minutes during the eighth sitting of the 26th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of members with only 58 members present when the sitting started, while 102 were present when the sitting ended.
The House passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2010 during the course of the sitting and took up one Calling Attention Notice regarding the shortage of Ph.D. teachers in the country leading to crisis in Universities.
Members of the PMLN expressed their reservations regarding the price hike of petroleum products and stressed on the point that the resolution against this issue should be taken up by the House.
The Prime Minister was not present to attend the sitting’s proceedings, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting briefly for five minutes. Only the Parliamentary Leader of the PML was present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 44 minutes.
- The eighth sitting started at 1051 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 51 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 69 minutes, while the remaining 35 minutes of the sitting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister was not present to attend the sitting’s proceedings, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for only five minutes.
- Only the Parliamentary Leader of PML was present, while the leaders of PPPS, MQM, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN and ANP were present, while the chief whips of PML, MMAP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 58 (17%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 102 (30%) members were present at the end of the sitting.
- Twelve members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of six out of 10 minority members were present during the 8th 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 shortage of Ph.D. teachers in the country leading to crisis in Universities”, which was directed to the Ministry of Education. This CAN was moved by five female parliamentarians of the PMLN.
- A total of 19 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only nine were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 26 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the eighth sitting.
- There was one bill [The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the Day, which was passed by the National Assembly.
- One Standing Committee report was presented to the House during the sitting. The report was presented by the State Minister for Finance and Revenue.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order were raised, consuming eight minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one admitted Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day regarding “the increase in the prices of petroleum products resulting in price-hike in the country”. The motion was debated upon during the sitting.
- Another Adjournment Motion was raised by members of the PMLN and PML regarding the “target killings in Karachi”. The debate on the motion is likely to start from tomorrow.
- There was an instance of a protest by the PMLN members. The members expressed their reservations by chanting slogans and protesting during the sitting’s proceedings over the issue of price hike of petroleum products. The PMLN members stressed upon the point that the resolution against the price hike of petroleum products should be taken up by the House.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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