ISLAMABAD, November 03, 2010: The third sitting of the 26th National Assembly session met for two hours and 30 minutes. The attendance of members at the end of the sitting was observed to be slightly better than the previous two sittings, with 120 present. However, there were only 51 legislators present at the outset of the sitting. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but was not pointed out by any of the members.
National Assembly unanimously passed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Bill, 2008 during the course of the sitting.
Members of the MQM expressed their reservation on the price hike of petroleum goods and boycotted the 26th session.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 23 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. Only the Parliamentary Leader of PPPS was present, while the leaders of other Parliamentary Parties did not attend the proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 30 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1030 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 30 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the sitting. The entire sitting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 23 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary Leader of PPPS was present, while the leaders of MMAP, ANP, MQM, PML, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MMAP and ANP were present,while the chief whips of MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 51 (15%) members were present at the outset of the sitting and 120 (35%) members at the end of the sitting.
- Nine members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- All the minority members were present during the 3rd sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The taken up CAN was regarding “shifting of NADRA Swift Center from Narang Mandi to Muridkay”. The CAN was directed to the Ministry of Interior and was moved by five members of PMLN.
- A total of 24 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only seven were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 18 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the third sitting.
- The National Assembly unanimously passed “the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Bill, 2008” during the course of the sitting, while The Islamabad Rent Restriction Bill, 2010 was introduced. There weretwo bills [The National Vocational and Technical Education CommissionBill, 2008] and [The National Defense University Bill, 2009] which weredeferred.
- One report of the Law and Justice Standing Committee was presented during the sitting, regarding the Code of Criminal Procedures Bill,2008.
Order and institutionalization
- Seven Points of Order were raised, consuming 27 minutes (18% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Ordersraised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one Adjournment Motion raised during the proceedings by members of the PMLN and PML regarding the “price hike in oil prices”.The debate on the motion is likely to start from tomorrow.
- There was an instance of a boycott by members of the MQM. They expressed their reservations regarding the price hike in petroleum goods and boycotted the rest of the 26th session.
- 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 of the National Assembly.
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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