ISLAMABAD, April 21, 2011: The National Assembly met for three hours and 39 minutes in the ninth sitting of the ongoing 30th session. The issue of lack of Quorum persisted during the ninth sitting as well. It was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting but was not pointed out by any of the Members. As many as 45 Members were present at outset of the sitting, while only 26 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
A total of five Members spoke on the Presidential Address for 127 (57% of total sitting time) minutes. The House took up the “Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2011” during the sitting.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 20 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained present for 23 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings. Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 39 minutes.
- The ninth sitting started at 1040 Hours against scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 40 minutes.
- A Member of the Panel of Chairpersons chaired the sitting for 107 minutes, while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker. The Speaker was not present during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 20 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 23 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the PML, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, MQM and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of MMAP, ANP, MQM, BNPA and NPP were absent.
- A total of 45 (13%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 26 (8%) members at the end of the sitting.
- As many as nine out of 10 minority members were present during the 8thsitting.
- A total of five Members applied for leave of absence from the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House did take up both the Calling Attention Notices.
- The taken up CAN was regarding “dilapidated condition of Ubaro-Panu Aqil National Highway in Sindh”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Communications and was raised by five Members of the MQM.
- The other CAN was regarding the “commencement of evening classes in medical colleges” which was directed to the Ministry of Health. This CAN was moved by four Members of the PPPP.
- A total of 32 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 12 were raised and responded to by the relevant minister
- A total of 25 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the ninth sitting.
- The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was taken up by House during the sitting.
- Two Standing Committee reports regarding Central Board of State Bank of Pakistan and The General Statistics (Reorganization) Bill, 2011 were presented to the House during the sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of four Points of Order were raised, consuming five minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted the Speaker’s formal ruling.
- The National Assembly debated on the Presidential Address for a total of 127 minutes. As many as five Members spoke on the President’s speech, which included one Member each of the PPPP, PMLN, PML and MQM. An Independent Member also spoke on the subject.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the 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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