ISLAMABAD, June 25, 2010: The eighteenth sitting of the budget session witnessed relatively high presence of members with a maximum 63 present attendance. The long stretched sitting voted on the Finance Bill, 2010, which was eventually approved by the House with a majority vote. Members of PML staged a token walkout on non-approval of their demands, the walkout ended after 5 minutes, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 07 hours and 41 minutes.
- The eighteenth sitting started at 1131 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours. The House proceedings started late by 31minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 421 minutes, while the remaining time the sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 272 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 52 minutes.
- The Minister for Finance and Revenue attended the entire sitting.
- Parliamentary leaders of MQM, PPPS and PMLF were present, while those of PML, MMAP, ANP, BNPA and NPP remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML and PPPS were present, while the chief whips of ANP, PMLF, MQM, PML, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- As many as 20 members appealed for leave to be absent from the parliamentary sitting.
- A total of 104 (31%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 151 (44%) members were present at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of members in the sitting was recorded at 214 (63%).
- The House took a break of 62 minutes on account of prayers and food during the sitting.
- As many as nine minority members were present during the eighteenth sitting.
- The Prime Minister addressed the house for 12 minutes after the acceptance of Finance Bill 2010 by the Assembly.
- National Assembly accepted by majority 143 demands for grants for various Ministries.
- An amount of 39.59 billion rupees were agreed upon to be given to various departments/ institutions of Ministries for Superannuation Allowances and Pension, Grants-in-Aids and Miscellaneous adjustments between Federal and Provincial adjustments, Civil Works, National Assembly, Senate, Pakistan Railways, Servicing of Foreign debt, Foreign Loan repayments, Audit, Servicing and repayment of Domestic Debt, Supreme Court, Election Commission Pakistan, Wafaqi Mohtasib and Federal Tax Ombudsman.
Order and institutionalization
- Four Points of Order were raised, taking up 30 minutes of the House proceedings.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- Parliamentary party of PMLN staged a token walkout during the course of the sitting on the issue of “non acceptance and non-inclusion of their demands/cut-motions in the budget”. The walkout lasted for 5 minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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