ISLAMABAD,January 17, 2012: The first sitting of Senate met for two hours and 58 minutes with low attendance of Senators. Only 16 were present at the start and 28 when the sitting was adjourned.
Thirty-three questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 12 questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 was deferred.
The House welcomed an Indian delegation, and a total of 11 Senators, including the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition, spoke on the subject for 36 minutes.
Seventeen Points of Order were raised, which consumed 48 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any assembly output.
The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 90 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for the entire sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 58 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1650 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 50 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting. The Deputy Chairman was also present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 90 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for the entire sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MQM, PMLF, PKMAP, NP, JWP and PMLN attended the sitting, while the leaders of the JI,BNPA, PPPS and ANP were absent.
- Sixteen Members were present at the start of the sitting and 28 when it was adjourned.
- Three Members applied for leave to be absent.
- The House took a 20-minute break on account of prayers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Thirty-three questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 12 questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 19 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- The Senate welcomed a visiting Indian delegation. Eleven Senators – two PPPP Senators and one each of ANP, PKMAP, JI, BNPA, PMLN, PML, NP and MQM – spoke on the subject for 36 minutes.
- The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 was deferred.
- The Chairperson for Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan presented a report of the Committee on its meeting with a six-member delegation of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate of Romania.
Order and Institutionalization
- Seventeen Points of Order consumed 48 minutes (27% of sitting time).
- However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- 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 Senators.
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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