ISLAMABAD, June 23, 2011: In the last sitting of the 31st session, the National Assembly met for a total of five hours and three minutes with low attendance of Members. There were only 18% Members present at the outset of the sitting and 12% were present when the sitting was adjourned. The maximum attendance of Members at one point of the sitting was recorded at 48%.
The National Assembly accepted by majority 132 supplementary demands for grants for various Ministries. The House also adopted a Resolution regarding the “Millennium Development Goals”.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, the lack of it was pointed out by a Member of the PMLN.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 132 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was absent. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the Leaders of other parties did not attend the proceedings of the sitting.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for five hours and three minutes.
- The last sitting started at 1108 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 68 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 205 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 98 minutes.
- The Prime Minister was present for 132 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was absent.
- The Parliamentary leaders of the PML, PPPS and NPP were present during the sitting, while those of the MQM, MMAP, ANP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- The Chief Whips of the BNPA and MMAP remained absent, while those of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, PMLF and ANP were present.
- A total of 63 (18%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 40 (12%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 164 (48%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Finance Minister was present during the sitting.
- As many as three Members appealed for the leave to be absent from the proceedings of the sitting.
- All of the minorities Members were present during the course of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the Calling Attention Notice.
- The first taken up CAN was regarding the “increase in number of incidents of Child abuse in Pakistan particularly in Islamabad”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Interior, and was moved by five Members of the PPPP.
- The other CAN was regarding the “increase in the prices of L.P.G.”, which was directed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. This CAN was sponsored by five Members of the PMLN.
- The National Assembly accepted by majority 132 supplementary demands for grants for various Ministries.
- The House unanimously adopted a Resolution regarding the “Millennium Development Goals”. It was decided a 17 Member committee would be formed especially for this purpose.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 27 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 54 minutes of the sitting time.
- There was no Adjournment Motion raised during the course of the sitting.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the course of the sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, the lack of quorum was pointed out by a Member of the PMLN, after a Resolution regarding women parliamentarians was put forth by a female parliamentarian of the PPPP.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budgetary proposals were available to the concerned.
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 FAFENï»¿
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