ISLAMABAD, May 19, 2015: The National Assembly passed the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill 2014 amid massive protest by the opposition parties on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The House incorporated four amendments proposed by PPPP – the only opposition party which did not oppose the passage of the bill sponsored by the government.
Fourteen lawmakers (four each from PPPP and PTI, two each from JI and MQM and one each from QWP and AMLP) spoke on the bill for two hours and six minutes, while the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources concluded the discussion in his 15-minute speech on the subject.
The House also took up a calling attention notice (CAN) on the disenfranchisement of women voters during the recently-held by-polls in Lower Dir.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 59 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1117 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The House observed a prayer break for 15 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 50 minutes.
- The Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 57 minutes.
- 88 members (25% of the total membership) were present at the start of the sitting.
- 132 members (39%) were present at the time of adjournment.
- A maximum of 180 lawmakers (53%) attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, MQM, AMLP, QWP, PML-F and JUI-F were present.
- Nine out of 10 minority members attended the proceedings.
- Fifteen lawmakers applied for leave.
- The House passed the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill 2014, which was introduced by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, after incorporating four amendments proposed by PPPP – the strongest opposition party in the House.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up a CAN on the disenfranchisement of women voters during the recently-held by-polls in Lower Dir.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eight points of order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting.
- The sitting witnessed a 16-minute protest by the opposition parties (except PPPP) against the passage of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill 2014.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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