ISLAMABAD, July 27, 2015: The Lower House of the Parliament left almost three-quarters of its agenda unaddressed on Monday during the first sitting of its 24th session as the House continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started at 1631 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours with 54 legislators (16%) present at the start and 25 (7%) at the time of adjournment.
The lawmakers raised ten Points of Order that consumed 65 minutes (22%) of the sitting. The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding rise in maternal and child mortality rate and CDA’s decision to introduce a housing scheme over land allotted to the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
The House passed the National University of Medical Sciences Bill, 2015 which was introduced by the Minister for Defense. The House did not consider the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill, 2015 as passed by the Senate with amendments and the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Amendment Bill, 2015.
Two reports of Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs regarding the Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Electoral Rolls (Amendment) Bill, 2015 were not presented.
Five resolutions seeking extension in period of five ordinances including the Safeguard Measures (Amendment) Ordinance 2015, the Countervailing Duties Ordinance 2015, the National Tariff Commission Ordinance 2015, the Anti-Dumping Duties Ordinance 2015 and the Publication of Laws of Pakistan (Regulation) Ordinance 2015 were not tabled in the House.
The House did not discuss a motion of thanks to express gratitude to the President of Pakistan for his address to the joint session on June 4, 2015 whereas the authenticated copy of President’s address was not presented. The House did not take up a commenced motion under rule 259 regarding deaths in Sindh and other areas due to heat wave.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 39 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1631 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The House had two prayer breaks for 78 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 131 minutes.
- The remaining time was presided by the Deputy Speaker.
- 54 members (16%) were present at the start and 25 (7%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 178 members (52%) attended the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 117 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of JUI-F, MQM, PkMAP, ANP, PML-Z and PML-F were present.
- Seven minority members attended the proceedings.
- Twelve members applied for leave.
- The House passed the National University of Medical Sciences Bill, 2015 which was introduced by the Minister for Defense.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding rise in maternal and child mortality and CDA’s decision to introduce a housing scheme over the land allotted to the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
- Thirteen out of 40 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, lawmakers raised 10 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised 10 Points of Order that consumed 65 minutes (22%) of the sitting.
- ‘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 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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