ISLAMABAD, November 16, 2011: The National Assembly met for three hours during the third sitting of the ongoing 36th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with 107 Members present at the outset and only 36 present when the sitting was adjourned.
The sitting was more productive in terms of addressing Agenda items. The House managed to take up all the listed items on the Orders of the Day.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 82 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 80 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, PPPS and BNPA were present, while the leaders of other parties did not attend the proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours.
- The third sitting started at 1810 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 70 minutes.
- A Member of Panel of Chairpersons chaired the sitting for 11 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Speaker. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 82 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 80 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, BNPA and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the ANP, PMLF, MQM, MMAP and NPP were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PML, MMAP, ANP and MQM were present, while those of the PMLF, PMLN, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 107 (31%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 36 (11%) Members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 168 Members (49%) was observed at one point of the sitting, when the Prime Minister was present.
- Seven out of 10 minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not take up any of the Calling Attention Notices, which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- A total of 24 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 10 were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 28 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the third sitting.
- The Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2011 was not taken up during the sitting.
- A Standing Committee report regarding a Question of Privilege and an Annual Report 2008-09 of the Pakistan Science Foundation was presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 22 Points of Order were raised, consuming 95 (53%) minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- An Adjournment Motion regarding the condition of Pakistan Railways was raised during the sitting. This motion was admitted, and the debate on the motion is most likely to start from Thursday.
- The sitting witnessed a token walkout by Members of the PMLN. The walkout lasted four minutes.
- 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.
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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