ISLAMABAD, January 18, 2012: The second sitting of the Senate met for three hours and 25 minutes with low attendance of Senators. Only 13 were present at the outset of the sitting while 26 present at the adjournment.
Twenty-two questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 10 questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
The relevant minister – Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Planning and Development, Economic Affairs and Statistics – was not present. However, a representative from the ministry was present to answer the questions.
The House spent 41 minutes discussing the two Questions of Privilege (QoPs) raised during the sitting.
Eight Points of Order were raised, which consumed 15 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 45 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for the entire sitting time.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 25 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 30 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the sitting for an hour and eight minutes, while the remaining time was presided over the Deputy Chairman.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 45 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for the entire sitting time.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MQM, PMLF, PKMAP, JI and JWP attended the sitting, while the leaders of the NP, PMLN, BNPA, PPPS and ANP were absent.
- A total of 13 Senators (13% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 26 (26%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Five Members applied for leave to be absent.
- The House took a 32-minute break on account of prayers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-two questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 10 questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- The relevant minister – Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Planning and Development, Economic Affairs and Statistics – was not present. However, a representative from the ministry was present.
- A total of 23 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- Two Questions of Privileges (QoPs) were raised during the sitting. The QoP raised by the Opposition Leader was sent to the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges. The other QoP was not taken up.
- No Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The Chairperson for the functional Committee on Human Rights presented a report of the Committee for the period of August, 2009 to November, 2011.
- The Annual Report for the year 2010-11 of the Central Board of Directors of State Bank of Pakistan was also presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eight Points of Order were raised which consumed 15 minutes of the 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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