ISLAMABAD, February 7, 2012: Starting an hour and ten minutes behind schedule, the fifth sitting of the National Assembly witnessed low attendance of Legislators. Only 54 were present at the start and 48 when the sitting was adjourned.
Spanning three hours and one minute, the sitting witnessed 42 Points of Order, consuming 57% of the total time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The House passed the Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009. Four other Bills were sent to the relevant Standing Committees.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting. Only the parliamentary leaders of NPP and BNPA were present.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and one minute.
- The sitting started at 1110 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started late by 70 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 18 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker presided for 71 minutes. The remaining time was chaired by Members of Panel of Chairperson.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and BNPA were present while those of MMAP, ANP, MQM, PML, PMLF and PPPS were not present.
- The Chief Whips of NPP, BNPA, PPPP, PMLN, and MQM were present.
- Fifty four Members were present at the start and 48 at the end of the sitting.
- Two Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Ten minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The first CAN, moved by five PPPP Members – four females and one male – was about “regarding non-existence of any law to regulate private hostels, putting security situation in the federal capital at risk, causing grave concern amongst the public”, which was directed to Ministry of Interior.
- Moved by five PMLN Members – two females and three males– the second notice was about “printing of currency notes on day to day need basis by the State Bank of Pakistan just to shoulder the Government.” It was directed to the Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development.
- The House passed the Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009.
- Four Bills — The Pakistan Sports Board Bill, 2012, The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, The Compulsory Declaration of Assets Bill, 2012, and The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012] (Insertion of new section 295-D and amendment of Schedule II – were sent to the relevant Standing Committees.
- A report on the Charter of Child Rights Bill 2009 was presented in the House.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 42 Points of Order were raised, consuming 103 minutes (57%) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- A PML Legislator walked out of the House against remarks of the Interior Minister about involvement of Chitral people in violence in Karachi. The protest lasted for 10 minutes.
- The House passed a Resolution, moved by an MQM Legislator, to set up a Medical Caucus to provide health facilities to people.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting, was not pointed out by any Member.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a Member organization of FAFEN.
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