ISLAMABAD, June 17, 2015: The National Assembly continued discussion on the 2015-16 Federal Budget amid low attendance of lawmakers and walkout by MQM legislators on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Twelve lawmakers (3%) were present at the start of the sitting while 15 (4%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 24% (110 minutes) of the sitting’s duration.
Twenty-nine lawmakers took part in the budget debate that took up nearly 75% of the sitting time. The legislators comprise 16 members from PML-N, followed by PPPP (6), PTI (5), JUI-F (one) and an Independent lawmaker.
A newly-elected lawmaker from PML-N took oath while the House received 92 recommendations from Senate on Finance Bill 2015.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for seven hours and 35 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1010 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The House held lunch and prayer break for 58 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for 192 minutes.
- The remaining time was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- 12 members (3%) were present at the start and 15 (4%) at the time of adjournment.
- A maximum of 150 members (44%) were present during one point of the sitting.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader attended the sitting for 110 minutes.
- The Finance Minister was present for 8% (35 minutes) of the sitting time.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, APML, ANP, AMLP, QWP and PML-F were present.
- Eight minority members attended the proceedings.
- Twelve members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-nine lawmakers took part in the budget debate that took up nearly 75% of the sitting time. These included sixteen members from PML-N, followed by PPPP (6), PTI (5), JUI-F (one) and an Independent lawmaker.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised six points of order that consumed 30 minutes of the sitting.
- MQM lawmakers walked out of the House at 1253 hours against the on-floor statement of the Defence Minister. They did not return until the adjournment of the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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