ISLAMABAD, March 11, 2020: The National Assembly passed the Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Bill, 2020 but postponed debate on a motion regarding agro-economy of the country, observes the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily Factsheet on Wednesday.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during the third sitting of the 20th session:
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 49 minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for four minutes and 30 minutes due to a casual and prayer break respectively.
- The sitting started at 1118 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Leaders of the House (Prime Minister) and the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 38 (11%) members were present at the outset and 45 (13%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, BNP, GDA, PPPP, AMLP and ANP attended the sitting.
- Five out of 10 minority lawmakers were present.
- Minister for Human Rights moved the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020 as passed by the Senate with amendments. The House passed this bill and three lawmakers including the minister participated in debate on it for seven minutes.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs introduced the Motion Pictures Ordinance (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. All these bills were referred to the relevant committee for further consideration.
- The House did not take up the Joint Maritime Information Organization Bill, 2019 and a motion of thanks.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up eight out of 35 starred questions while lawmakers asked 17 supplementary questions as well.
- The Chair referred a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) to the relevant Standing Committee which was regarding privatization of House Building Finance Corporation despite its efficient performance.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs moved a motion under Rule 259 to discuss the overall agro-economy of the country. A PTI lawmaker opened debate but it had to be adjourned due to the absence of relevant minister or senior representatives from the ministry in the House.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs also responded to another CAN regarding non-increase in the pension of EOBI beneficiaries as announced by the Adviser to Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis in December, 2019.
Order and Institutionalization
- Seven lawmakers spoke on points of order for 18 minutes.
- A PML-N lawmaker walked out from the proceedings of the House at 1406 hours due to the absence of relevant Ministry’s officials during debate on agro-economy. He did not return to the House till adjournment of the sitting.
- A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1346 hours but he did not insist for counting and the Chair also ignored it.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on March 13, 2020 (Friday) at 1030 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers is available on the National Assembly’s website.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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