ISLAMABAD, April 29, 2011: The National Assembly dealt with a majority of agenda items listed in the Orders of the Day during the 15th sitting.
With the exception of a Calling Attention Notice, all the listed business was disposed off as the House passed “The General Statistics (Reorganization) Bill, 2011” and approved the Motion of Thanks expressing gratitude to the President of Pakistan for his address to both Houses on 22nd March, 2011 after the debate on presidential address was wound up.
There were only 9% legislators present when the sitting started while 31% members were present in the House when the session was adjourned till May 9, 2011. A maximum of 40% members attended the 15th sitting.
The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 2 hours and 34 minutes.
- The fifteenth sitting started at 1015 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 15 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker remained absent during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the fifteenth sitting, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 31 minutes.
- Besides Leader of Opposition, the Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, ANP, NPP and PPPS were present while the leaders of other parliamentary parties including MQM, PMLF, MMAP, and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM, MMAP, NPP and PPPS were present, while the chief whips of PML, ANP, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 31 (9%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 107 (31%) members at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 137 members (40%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- Nine members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as eight out of 10 minority members were present during the 15th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one.
- The taken up CAN regarding “many-fold increase in the prices of commodities during the last nine months of current fiscal year” was directed to the Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development and was moved by three male and two female members of PMLN.
- A total of 27 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, 12 questions were put up and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 24 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the fifteenth sitting.
- A Member of PPPP spoke on the presidential address for 43 minutes before the House accepted the Motion of Thanks expressing deep gratitude to the President of Pakistan for his address to both Houses assembled together on 22nd March, 2011.”
- The National Assembly passed “The General Statistics (Reorganization) Bill, 2011” during 15th sitting.
- Two reports on separate privilege motions by two members were presented before the House. The reports were presented by the Chairman of Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges.
- Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination laid before the National Assembly the report on activities of Implementation Commission constituted under Article 270AA of the Constitution pertaining to the period from 4th May, 2010 to 5th April, 2011, during the 15th sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 09 Points of Order were raised, consuming 18 minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Point of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There were no instances of walkout, protest or boycott during the fifteenth 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 members of the National Assembly.
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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