ISLAMABAD, February 2, 2012: Starting an hour and five minutes behind schedule, the second sitting of the National Assembly met for an hour and 55 minutes.
Though the House witnessed a relatively better attendance of Members – with a maximum of 212 present at one point – 52% of the sitting time was consumed by Points of Order (PO). None of the eight POs raised attracted the formal ruling of the Chair. Unless the Chair gives a ruling on a Point of Order, it does not lead to any assembly output.
The House adopted a Resolution calling for a withdrawal of the recent hike in petroleum prices.
The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2012 were not taken up.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 40 minutes and the Leader of the Opposition was present for 45 minutes. The parliamentary leaders of the PPPS, NPP and BNPA attended the proceedings.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1805 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The proceedings started 65 minutes late.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Prime Minister was present for 40 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 45 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPS, NPP and BNPA were present, while those of the PML, PMLF, MMAP, MQM, and the ANP were absent.
- The Chief Whips of ANP, PMLN, PML, PPPP and PMLF were present, while those of the MMAP and MQM were absent.
- A total of 102 Legislators (30%) were present at the outset of the sitting while there were 116 MNAs (35%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 212 Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Two Members applied for leave to be absent.
- Ten minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The first CAN, moved by five PMLN Members – all females – was about “non-filing of income tax returns by more than 42% tax payers for the year, 2011, entailing substantial revenue loss”, which was directed to Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development
- Moved by five MQM Members – all males – the second notice was about “increase in the prices of petroleum products and levying 10% surcharge on CNG” it was directed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources
- There was no Question Hour as the prerequisite two weeks have not lapsed between the two sessions.
- The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2012 were not taken up by the House.
- The House unanimously adopted a Resolution regarding the recent hike in petroleum prices. This Resolution was presented as supplementary agenda.
Order and institutionalization
- Eight Points of Order were raised which consumed 60 minutes (52% 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.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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