ISLAMABAD, December 21, 2011: The National Assembly met for three hours and seven minutes during the fifth sitting of the ongoing 37th session. Only the parliamentary leaders of the PPPS and NPP attended the proceedings.
Low Attendance was observed during the sitting. Only 31 Parliamentarians were present at the start, while 54 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
Three Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day. The House passed the National Commission for Human Rights Bill, 2011.
Five PMLN Members spoke on the Adjournment Motion regarding load shedding of gas for 42 minutes. The Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources summed up the debate.
The Prime Minister attended the siting for 16 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and seven minutes.
- The sitting started at 1043 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 43 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the initial 108 minutes, while the remaining sitting was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Speaker was not present
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 16 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of PPPS and NPP were present, while the leaders of the MQM, ANP, BNPA, MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of ANP, PPPP, PMLN, PML, PPPS and NPP were present, while those of the MMAP, MQM, BNPA, and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 31 (9%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 54 (16%) Members at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 112 Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Thirteen Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Four minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took the two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- Moved by five PMLN Members – three males and two female – the first CAN was regarding the “increase in the current account deficit to $2.1 billion during the first five months of the 2011-12 fiscal year”, which was directed to the Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development.
- The other CAN was sponsored by five PPPP Members – three females and two males – was regarding the “closure of forensic medicine departments in medical colleges”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of National Regulation and Services.
- Out of the 26 Questions on the agenda, five were taken up. Legislators asked 14 supplementary Questions.
- Three Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day. The House passed the National Commission for Human Rights Bill, 2011, while other two Government Bills were deferred.
- The Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat presented a report on the Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Bill 2011.
Order and institutionalization
- Fifteen Points of Order were raised, consuming 32 minutes (17% of total sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The House debated the Adjournment Motion regarding load shedding of gas. Five PMLN Members spoke on the Motion for 42 minutes. The Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources summed up the debate.
- 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.
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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