NA Begins Budget Debate amidst Opposition’s Protest

ISLAMABAD, May 26, 2017: The National Assembly, on Monday, began the general discussion on the Budget 2017-2018 while the opposition parties protested against government’s refusal to telecast the discussion live, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during fourth sitting of the 43rd session:

Members’ Participation

  • The National Assembly met for two hours and 12 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for 31 minutes due to prayer break.
  • The sitting started at 1619 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
  • The Speaker presided over the sitting for an hour and 24 minutes while the Deputy Speaker chaired the rest of the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attended the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour.
  • The Finance Minister attended the entire sitting.
  • Seventy-eight lawmakers (23%%) were present at the outset and 77 (23%) at the adjournment of sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of JI, PkMAP, QWP-S, APML, AJIP, NP and NPP attended the sitting.
  • Five minority lawmakers were present.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Four lawmakers took part in general discussion on the budget for the year 2017-2018. The discussion consumed 34 minutes of the proceedings.

Order and Institutionalization

  • Ten lawmakers spoke on 13 Points of Order consuming 44 minutes of the sitting.
  • The proceeding remained suspended for 31 minutes due to prayer break.
  • A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum twice; however, it was found complete on both occasions. The concerned lawmaker objected to the count and protested on floor of the House for six minutes.
  • Entire opposition walked out from the proceedings at 1719 hours over government’s refusal to live telecast the proceedings of budget discussion on state television. They did not return to the House till the adjournment.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • Information on Members’ attendance is available on National Assembly website.

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.