Govt-Opposition row halts budget debate in National Assembly

ISLAMABAD, June 15, 2021: The budget debate in the National Assembly was halted due to the confrontation between the government and the opposition members, who came close to blows and threw copies of budget documents on each other during speech of the opposition leader, observers Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Tuesday.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during sixth sitting of the 34th session:

 Members’ Participation

  • The House met for three hours and 46 minutes, however, the proceedings remained suspended for two hours and seven minutes due to prayer break and protest.
  • The proceedings started at 04:22 pm against the scheduled time of 04:00 pm.
  • The speaker presided over the entire sitting.
  • The deputy speaker was also present.
  • The leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting.
  • The opposition leader attended the sitting for three hours and seven minutes.
  • A total of 73 lawmakers (21 percent) were present at the outset and 67 (20 percent) at the adjournment of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of MMAP, PPPP, BAP, PML and GDA attended the sitting.
  • Seven out of 10 minority lawmakers were also present during the proceedings.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • The Leader of the Opposition formally opened debate on the federal budget 2021-22 but could not complete his speech amid protest in the House.

Order and Institutionalization

  • The treasury lawmakers protested during the speech of opposition leader, which continued for an hour and 27 minutes. Despite repeated directions by the Chair, the treasury and opposition lawmakers continued their protest. Later, they came close to blows and threw budget documents on each other following which the Chair suspended the proceedings twice for a total of an hour and 44 minutes.
  • The House was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 02:00 pm.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly’s proceedings, conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions excepted