ISLAMABAD, October 5, 2012: Starting 84 minutes late, the National Assembly which met for an hour and 58 minutes left most of the agenda unaddressed during the first sitting of the 46th session on Friday.
The House did not take up two bills, 19 starred questions and two calling attention notices listed on the Orders of the Day.
However the sitting witnessed relatively better attendance of legislators. Ninety-nine MNAs were present at the outset while 122 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
The Prime Minister was present for 17 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting. Only the parliamentary leaders of the PPPS, PML and MQM were present.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 58 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1124 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 24 late.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 21 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister was present for 17 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leaders of the PPPS, PML and MQM were present.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, ANP and MMAP attended the sitting.
- Ninety-nine legislators (29%) were present at the outset of the sitting while there were 122 MNAs (36%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 152 Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Five Minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two Calling Attention Notices regarding “non-regularization of disabled persons working on contract for the last 5 years or more in Federal Government” and “increase in the prices of petroleum products” were not taken up by the House.
- Only five out of 26 questions were taken up and responded to by the relevant minister. Additionally, nine supplementary questions were asked.
- Two bills – the Pakistan Academy of Letters Bill 2010 and the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan Bill 2012 – were not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- One Point of Order was raised consuming four minutes of the sitting time.
- 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 Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a Member organization of FAFEN.
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