ISLAMABAD, May 18, 2017: The National Assembly addressed regular and supplementary legislative business of the government and private lawmakers while suspending Question Hour on Thursday, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in Daily Factsheet.
The session was prorogued afterwards amidst lack of quorum.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during fourth (last) sitting of the 42nd session:
- The National Assembly met for three hours and seven minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for 27 minutes due to lack of quorum.
- The sitting started at 1059 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for two hours while the Deputy Speaker chaired the rest of the proceedings.
- Fifty-five lawmakers (16%) were present at the outset and 52 (15%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The Parliamentary leaders of APML, ANP, PkMAP, JUI-F, PML, PML-Z and QWP-S attended the sitting.
- Five minority lawmakers were present.
- The House passed five Private Members’ bills including the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Bill, 2016; The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Representation of People Amendment Bill, 2017. These bills were sponsored by women lawmakers belonging to PPPP, PML-N and MQM.
- The House also passed the Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill, 2017, a government bill which was returned from the Senate after passing it with amendments.
- The House referred two Private Members’ bills namely the Islamabad Compulsory Vaccination and Protection of Health Workers Bill, 2015 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2017 to the relevant committees. These bills have been passed by the Senate and were moved in the National Assembly by PML-N lawmakers.
- Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training introduced the National Skill University Islamabad Bill, 2017. The bill was also referred to the relevant committee.
- Two Private Member’s bills namely the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Law Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016, moved by a PML-N lawmaker, were rejected by the House.
- The House deferred the National University of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the Acid and Burn Crime Bill, 2014, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and three bills to amend Pakistan Penal Code,1860.
- A member of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice presented a report of the committee on the Constitution (Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2017.
- Five lawmakers including the Leader of the Opposition and Minister for States and Frontier Regions took part in discussion on the proposed legislation regarding reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House adopted a motion to suspend Question Hour for debating an Adjournment Motion (AM) regarding Chaman border attack and the proposed legislation on FATA reforms. However, the discussion on AM did not take place.
- The Parliamentary Secretary on Finance made a statement on a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding charging higher markup on agricultural loans than industrial loans. Another CAN about censorship on social media was not addressed.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised ten Points of Order consuming 28 minutes of the sitting.
- A PTI lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum at 1336 hours. The Chair suspended the proceedings but the quorum was not completed on resumption of the sitting after 27 minutes that led to the prorogation of the session.
- The Chair expunged the remarks of the Federal Minister for Water and Power about role of a woman lawmaker of PTI in a protest outside Peshawar Electric Supply Company.
- The Opposition parties staged a walkout against above-mentioned remarks of the minister at 1258 hours and did not return to the House till end of the sitting.
- 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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