ISLAMABAD, February 22, 2013: Starting 30 minutes late, the fifth sitting of the ongoing National Assembly session witnessed low attendance of Members. Only 47 members (14% of the total membership) were present at the outset while 67 were there at the time of adjournment.
The government coalition partner -MQM- staged a protest over SPLGA Repeal Bill in Sindh. The walkout lasted 14 minutes.
Ten Points of Order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the parliamentary leaders of MQM, MMAP, ANP and PML did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and five minutes.
- The sitting started at 1130 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours, witnessing a delay of 30 minutes.
- The Speaker and Deputy Speaker were absent. A Member of Panel of Chairpersons presided over the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leaders of PPPS and PMLF were present while those of MQM, BNPA, NPP, MMAP, ANP and PML were absent.
- The chief whips of PPPP and PML attended the sitting.
- Forty-seven members (14% of the total membership) were present at the outset while 67 (20%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 96 (28%) members were present at one point of sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Six members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Moved by five PMLN Members, a Calling Attention Notice about 20% increase in the prices of gas for domestic as well as commercial consumers was taken up by the House.
- The Fiscal and Debt Policy Statement for the year 2012-2013 was presented in the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Ten Points of Order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The government coalition partner – MQM- staged a protest over SPLGA Repeal Bill in Sindh. The walkout lasted 14 minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
- The quorum visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The 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
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