ISLAMABAD, April 25, 2012: The National Assembly met for two hours and 54 minutes during the first sitting of the 41st session on Wednesday, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly proceedings.
The sitting was marked by low attendance with 72 Legislators present at the start and 47 were there when the sitting was adjourned.
The Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2012 was not taken up. The House adopted a Motion to debate the Bhoja air crash.
Out of the 18 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only nine were put up and responded by the relevant ministries. Additionally, a total of 15 supplementary questions were raised.
Thirteen Points of Order consumed 42 % of the sitting time. However none of them attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 25 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 57 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 54 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1800 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The proceedings started 60 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 54 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister was present for 25 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 57 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, BNPA, PPPS, NPP, and MQM were present, while those of the ANP, MMAP and the PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MMAP, ANP, MQM, NPP, BNPA and PPPS were present.
- Seventy-two Legislators (16%) were present at the outset of the sitting while there were 47 MNAs (11%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 176 Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- A total of ten Members applied for leave to be absent.
- Six minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) appearing on the Orders of the Day were not taken up by the House.
- Out of the 18 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only nine were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 15 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- The Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2012 was not taken up by the House.
- The House adopted a Motion to debate on the Bhoja air crash.
Order and institutionalization
- Thirteen Points of Order were raised which consumed 73 minutes (42% of the sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two walkouts. On the first instance, MQM Members staged walk out on not given the permission to discuss the Bhoja air crash.
- The other walk out was by a male Member of PPPP and the Members of PMLN against the partial judicial commission on Bhoja air crash. They walked out from the House at 2045 and did not come back.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum 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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