ISLAMABAD, April 1, 2021: The National Assembly witnessed introduction of seven private members’ bills and deferred a motion authorizing its speaker to constitute a parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet on Thursday.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during second sitting of the 31st session:
- The National Assembly met for five hours and 21 minutes, however, the proceedings remained suspended for an hour and five minutes due to prayer break and lack of quorum.
- The sitting started at 1658 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The deputy speaker presided over the entire sitting in the absence of speaker.
- The leaders of the house (Prime Minister) and the opposition did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 52 (15%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 27 (8%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of BAP and GDA attended the sitting.
- Five minority lawmakers were present.
- The House witnessed introduction of seven private members’ bills which were referred to relevant committees for consideration. These bills were the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Amendment in Articles- 1, 51 and 106); the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
- Sponsored by MMAP and PTI lawmakers, the House passed the Senate Secretariat Services (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- A bill- the Children (Pledging of Labour) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 – was deferred.
- Sixteen reports of Standing Committees on various parliamentary interventions were presented in the House.
- Tabled by a PPPP lawmaker, the House adopted a resolution urging the government to take immediate steps to decrease gender disparity.
- The House did not take up 15 private members’ bills due to the absence of relevant movers.
- Four private members’ resolutions, a report of Standing Committee and four amendments in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007 were not considered.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs moved a motion to authorize the speaker National Assembly to constitute parliamentary committee on electoral reforms. Three lawmakers including Minister for Communications spoke on it following which the Chair deferred it for further consideration and to finalize its membership with consensus.
- The House passed a motion to consider the government business during the sitting. The motion was moved by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
- The House adopted eight supplementary resolutions to extend as many ordinances for a further period of 120 days.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up 12 out of 48 starred questions during the question hour. In addition, the lawmakers asked 19 supplementary questions.
- Minister for Communication and Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources responded to two Calling Attention Notices (CANs). The first CAN was regarding stoppage of construction work on approach roads of Lowari Tunnel, Chitral while other was about problems to the people of the District Swabi due to diversion of natural water flow of the Indus River for construction of Gazi-Barotha Hydropower Channel and Power Plant.
Order and Institutionalization
- Fourteen lawmakers spoke on points of order related to governance, issues of South Punjab, road infrastructure in Balochistan, law and order, trade with India and education sector. They consumed an hour and 20 minutes of the proceedings.
- The proceedings remained suspended for 45 minutes due to lack of quorum pointed out by a MMAP lawmaker at 1930 hours.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on April 2, 2021 (Friday) at 1100 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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