National Assembly Passes Two Private Members’ Bills Since 2013

  • NA Starts Releasing Daily Bulletin of Proceedings
  • Prime Minister, PTI leader, among 22 lawmakers, who remain absent during entire session

The National Assembly transacted heavy legislative agenda during 39th session and passed 17 bills, including two Private Members’ bills. It is first time since 2013 that the incumbent Assembly passed any Private Member bill. The passed bills related to the economy, judiciary, women and children rights, institutional reforms, climate change and health.  The House also referred 14 new legislative proposals (nine Private Members’ Bills and five Government Bills) to the relevant standing committees for review. The session comprising nine sittings also passed four resolutions on Quebec Mosque Attack, Kashmir Solidarity Day, performance of Pakistan Television and simplifying pension procedure.

This entire legislation took place in the absence of Leader of the House (Prime Minister) and Leader of the Opposition. The Prime Minister and Parliamentary leader of PTI were amongst the members who did not attend the entire session while the Leader of the Opposition came to only one sitting. Besides them, 20 more lawmakers also remained absent throughout the session.

FAFEN has been advocating for releasing daily bulletin of the National Assembly’s proceedings as has been started by the Senate of Pakistan. From the 39th Session, the National Assembly Secretariat also started sharing proceedings of the House on its website, which has been one of the hallmarks of Parliamentary transparency.

The House did not address a quarter of its agenda during the session. The left-over agenda included the Private Members’ interventions on issues of public importance. The majority of Calling Attention Notices were addressed but the Motions under Rule 259 were not taken up for discussions. No adjournment motion could become part of the business due to the presence of Motion of Thanks to the President on Orders of the Day. The Motion of Thanks is pending on the agenda since July 2016 and was not discussed even once during the session.

The session also witnessed scuffle between members of the ruling PML-N and opposition party PTI. The following sitting after the incident was adjourned without taking up any agenda. Moreover, lawmakers also staged six walkouts to record their protest over various issues, including increase in electricity tariff, absence of ministers and attack on PPPP leader Shaukat Basra.

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