ISLAMABAD, December 24, 2010: The National Assembly met for an hour and fifty minutes during the fifth sitting of the ongoing 27th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 30 Members present at the outset and 82 were present when the sitting was adjourned. Although the Quorum was visibly lacking at various sitting of this brief sitting, this was not pointed out by any of the Members.
The National Assembly did not take up the Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Bill, 2010.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 19 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not turn up for the sitting’s proceedings. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 50 minutes.
- The fifth sitting started at 1040 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 40 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 80 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker presided over the sitting for 30 minutes.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 19 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of the PML, MMAP, ANP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML and ANP were present, while the chief whips of the MQM, PMLF, MMAP, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 30 (9%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 82 (24%) members at the end of the sitting.
- Five members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as three out of 10 minority members were present during the 5th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the CANs.
- The first CAN was regarding “transport problems of the students in Islamabad”. The CAN was directed to the Ministry of Education and was moved by five members of the PPPP.
- The second CAN on the Orders of the Day was regarding “black-marketing of bags of Atta at Utility Stores” which was directed to the Ministry of Industries and Production. This CAN was moved by five members of the PMLN.
- A total of 18 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only seven were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 25 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the fifth sitting.
- There was one bill [The Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the Day, which was not taken up by the House.
- One Standing Committee Report regarding a Question of Privilege was presented to the House.
Order and institutionalization
- No Points of Order were raised during the course of the entire sitting.
- There were no instances of protests, walkouts or boycotts during the fifth sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the Members of the National Assembly.
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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