ISLAMABAD, May 24, 2018: The National Assembly passed the Constitution (Thirty-first Amendment) Bill, 2018 on Thursday providing for the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) with the respective Provinces, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during the 18th sitting of the 56th session:
- The National Assembly met for five hours and 21 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1125 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for four hours and 57 minutes while rests of the proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) attended the sitting for four hours and 22 minutes.
- The Opposition Leader was present for four hours and 58 minutes.
- As many as 50 lawmakers (15%) were present at the outset and 22 (6%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of NP, QWP, JI, ANP, PTI, AJIP, AMLP, PPPP, MQM, PML-F, APML and BNP-A attended the sitting.
- Eight minority lawmakers were present.
- Tabled by the Minister for Law and Justice, the House passed the Constitution (Thirty-first Amendment) Bill, 2018.
- The amendment received 229 votes in its favor and one in its opposition. The bill provides for reducing the number of National Assembly seats from 342 to 336 and the number of Senate Seats from 104 to 96 while the number of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats will be increased from 124 to 145. However, the members of the National Assembly to be elected from FATA in General Election 2018 will continue till the dissolution of the Assembly. Similarly, the current members of the Senate from FATA shall continue till the expiry of their terms. Moreover, the elections on the 21 additional seats of KP Assembly will be held within one year after GE-2018.
- Tabled by a PPPP lawmaker, the House adopted a resolution to condemn killing of a 17-year-old Pakistani student Sabika Shaikh who was shot dead in a mass shooting at a Texas high school last week.
- The House adopted another resolution to condemn unprovoked firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control. It was tabled by a PML-N lawmaker.
- The House passed six other government bills which were the Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2018; the Investment Corporation of Pakistan (Repeal) Bill, 2018; the SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Loans for Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Purposes (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Joint Maritime Information Organization Bill, 2018 and the Evening Courts Bill, 2018.
- State Minister for Finance presented the Second Quarterly report of the Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan on the State of Pakistan’s Economy for the year 2017-18.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding non-release of Workers Welfare Fund which was responded to by State Minister for Finance.
- Another CAN on the agenda was left unaddressed while the question hour was also deferred.
- Nine lawmakers spoke on the Constitution (Thirty-first Amendment) Bill, 2018 after it passage for 48 minutes. However, water issues in the country were also highlighted by few lawmakers during this debate.
- Five lawmakers also spoke against the Constitutional Amendment Bill for 39 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Fourteen lawmakers spoke on points of order consuming an hour and 22 minutes of the proceedings.
- A JUI-F lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1137 hours but it was found complete upon counting.
- JUI-F and PkMAP members staged a walkout from the House when voting on clauses of Constitutional Amendment Bill started at 1439 hours. They did not return to the House till adjournment of the sitting.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on May 25, 2018 (Friday) at 1100 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the 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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