ISLAMABAD, May 18, 2015: The National Assembly passed one bill and adopted two resolutions during the first sitting of its 22nd session here on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Introduced by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Capital University of Science and Technology Bill, 2015. The minister also presented the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 and the Cantonments (Amendment) Ordinance 2015.
The two resolutions adopted by the House lamented the helicopter crash in Naltar and condemned the targeted attack on the Ismaili community in Karachi.
The sitting was marked by low attendance of members as 80 (23%) were present at the outset while 34 (10%) at the adjournment of the sitting. The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages, however, it was not pointed out by any lawmaker.
Following are some key observations of the house proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 16 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1546 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The House had two prayer breaks for 52 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for three hours and two minutes while the Deputy Speaker presided over the proceedings for 22 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 86 minutes.
- Eighty members (23% of the total membership – 342) were present at the outset while 34 (10%) at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 176 members (51%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, MQM, JI, AMLP, JUI-F and QWP attended the sitting.
- Eight minority members were present.
- Eleven lawmakers applied for leave.
- The House adopted two resolutions to lament the helicopter crash in Naltar and condemned the targeted attack on the Ismaili community in Karachi.
- Introduced by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Capital University of Science and Technology Bill, 2015.
- State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs presented the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 and the Cantonments (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015.
- On behalf of Chairman Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, a PML-N lawmaker presented the report on the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training presented the report on the Capital University of Science and Technology Bill 2015.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs). First CAN was regarding shortage of funds of Pakistan Hockey Federation resulting in abandonment of training camp while the other CAN was about protracted sufferings of women working under Broken Families Policy but not being permanently absorbed in their respective departments in ICT.
- Eleven out of 36 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised 12 supplementary questions.
- The House passed a motion to suspend the first private members’ day of current session.
Order and Institutionalization
- The opposition lawmakers except JI walked out of the House for ten minutes against the passage of Capital University of Science and Technology Bill, 2015 in haste.
- Eight points of order consumed 85 minutes (33%) of the sitting’s time.
- ‘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 by FAFEN and it 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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