ISLAMABAD, April 22, 2015: The Lower House of the Parliament left over 58 per cent of the agenda unaddressed during the second sitting of its 21st session on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Twenty-one lawmakers (6%) were present at the start of the sitting and 41 (12%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present for 71 minutes (44%) of the proceedings’ time.
The House did not take up five resolutions on the agenda. They were about deputing female staff in the departments of Gynae, Breast Cancer and Mammogram in all hospitals in the Federal Capital, merging all ad-hoc allowances into the basic pay of government servants, promoting hydel power projects to meet the energy crisis, establishing a women’s university in Buner and controlling the price-hike in the country.
Five motions under Rule 259 were not taken as two of them were identical about problems being faced by the female patients due to not posting of female staff in the gyane, breast cancer and mammogram wards in the federal government hospitals, problems being faced by Pakistani workers abroad, increasing the amount of house building advance of the government employees and discussion on Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) policy.
Four bills – the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015 for Insertion of Section 296 A, the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2015 (Amendment of Section 161), the Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Bill 2015 and the Indus River System Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 (Amendment of Section 12 and Insertion of new sections) – were not introduced in the House.
The House did not consider the four proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure. The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding delay in construction of bridge on River Ravi at Syedwala and about reservations on LNG import and regasification agreement with ENGRO.
The proceedings remained suspended for 21 minutes due to the absence of relevant ministers and secretaries during the question hour. Following are some key observations of the house proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 43 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1042 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 27 minutes while the Deputy Speaker presided over the proceedings for 55 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present for 71 minutes.
- 21 members (6%) were present at the start and 41 (12%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 138 members (40%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, BNP, APML and JUI-F attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present.
- Eleven lawmakers applied for leave.
- The House discussed a commenced resolution about steps to control electricity pilferage for 27 minutes. Five lawmakers – one each of JUI-F, PTI, JI, PPPP and PML-N – participated in the debate.
- The Chairman Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights presented the reports on the Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Constitution (Twenty-fourth Amendment) Bill 2014.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding delay in construction of a bridge on River Ravi at Syedwala and about reservations on LNG import and re-gasification agreement with ENGRO.
- The House admitted two identical motions under Rule 44 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to declare 28 seats of PTI lawmakers vacant for being absent from National Assembly for 40 consecutive days without submitting leave.
- Four proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure were referred to relevant committee for further deliberations.
- Five out of 32 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised seven supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- Ten points of order consumed 15 minutes of the sitting time.
- The sitting remained suspended for 21 minutes due to the absence of relevant ministers and secretaries during the question hour.
- ‘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 daily factsheet 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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