ISLAMABAD, March 9, 2020: The National Assembly passed four government bills and referred five other legislative proposals to the relevant Standing Committees on Monday, observes the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during the first sitting of the 20th session:
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 35 minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for 26 minutes due to prayer break.
- The sitting started at 1634 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Leaders of the House (Prime Minister) and the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 54 (16%) members were present at the outset and 87 (25%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, BAP, PPPP, BNP and GDA attended the sitting.
- Six out of 10 minority lawmakers were present.
- Five bills were introduced in the House which were forwarded to the relevant committees for further consideration. These bills were the Members of Parliament (Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020; the Pakistan Health Research Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Islamabad Capital Territory Charities Registration, Regulation and Facilitation Bill, 2020 and the Pakistan Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- The House passed four government bills after clause by clause reading. These bills were the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Bill, 2020; the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Bill, 2020.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs presented the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.
- On behalf of Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior, a member of the Committee presented report on the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- Tabled by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the House adopted a resolution to condemn violence against Muslims in India.
- Parliamentary Secretary for Finance presented the Mid-Year Budget Review Report for the Financial Year 2019-20.
- The House did not consider the Joint Maritime Information Organization Bill, 2019 and a motion of thanks.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up 13 out of 36 starred questions while the lawmakers asked 21 supplementary questions as well.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs responded to a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) about discriminatory tactics by the Ministry towards the staff of OPF educational institutes.
- Minister for Religious Affairs responded to a CAN regarding deletion of Oath of finality of Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) from Hajj Forms 2020-2021.
Order and Institutionalization
- Thirteen lawmakers spoke on points of order for 23 minutes.
- The opposition walked out of the proceedings at 1945 hours against hasty legislation and did not return till adjournment of sitting at 2009 hours.
- A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1947 hours and the Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes. Though late in counting but the quorum was found complete at 2002 hours.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on March 10, 2020 (Tuesday) at 1600 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers is available on the National Assembly’s website.
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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