ISLAMABAD, March 17, 2015: The Lower House of the Parliament left over 55 per cent of the agenda unaddressed during the second sitting of its 20th session on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
Fifty-six lawmakers (16%) were present at the start of the sitting and 22 (6%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 58 minutes (35%) of the proceedings’ time.
The House did not take up five resolutions on the agenda. They were about merging all adhoc allowances into basic pay of government servants; promoting good governance and corruption-free culture in all federal government institutions; implementing the decision of Federal Service Tribunal to upgrade post of Assistants to BPS-16; increasing salaries of SNGPL employees and establishing Women University in Sialkot.
Two motions under Rule 259 relating to debate on the improper arrangements at National Bank in Excise and Taxation Office Islamabad to receive cash and performance of the Federal Board of Revenue were also not taken up.
Two bills, including the National Accountability Ordinance (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Constitution Bill seeking amendment in Article 184, were not introduced in the House.
Similarly, reports of the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights on four bills were also not presented in the House.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding non-convening of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting during the last nine months and lack of medical facilities at federal government hospitals in Islamabad.
The following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 48 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1125 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 45 minutes while the rest of the proceedings were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 58 minutes.
- Fifty-six members (16%) were present at the start and 22 (26%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 132 members (39%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, JI, AMLP, QWP, PML-Z, APML and ANP attended the sitting.
- Eight minority members were present.
- Ten lawmakers applied for leave.
- Six bills were introduced comprising the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Amendment in Article 92); the National Commission for Minorities Bill, 2015; the Federal Witness Protection Bill, 2015; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Amendment in Article 260); the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Amendment Bill, 2015 and Oil and Gas Production (The Royalty and Production Bonus) Bill, 2015. All these bills were referred to relevant committees for further deliberations.
- The House rejected the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 seeking amendment in Article 63A after voting while the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 for amendment in Article 63 was not taken up due to absence of the mover.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two CANs regarding non-convening of the CCI meeting during the last nine months and lack of medical facilities at federal government hospitals in Islamabad.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twelve POs consumed 65 minutes (39%) of the sitting.
- The opposition lawmakers along with MQM, PkMAP walked out of the House for five minutes over the issue of non-convening of CCI meeting during the last nine months.
- ‘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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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This session report 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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