ISLAMABAD, June 06, 2011: The National Assembly started formal debate on Finance Bill 2011 with two members- one each from treasury and opposition- speaking on the budgetary proposals for one hour and forty eight minutes in relatively better attended second sitting of ongoing 31st NA Session (Budget Session). The sitting that lasted two hours and 46 minutes was attended by 176 MNAs (52%). As many as 35% members were present when the sitting started while 30% were present when the sitting was adjourned.
Opposition Leader spoke on Finance Bill for 58 minutes while a PPPP member took 51 minutes to speak on budgetary proposals that were presented before the House on June 3, 2011. Overall, 65% of the session time was allocated to the debate on budget as the House suspended the question hour for the entire session.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 2 hours and 46 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1820 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by one hour and 20 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister was present for 45 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 75 minutes.
- The Parliamentary leaders of the MQM, PMLF, PPPS and NPP were present while those of PML, ANP, MMAP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, ANP, PPPS and NPP were present while those of MMAP, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 118 (35%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 102 (30%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 176 (52%) members were present at one point of the sitting.
- A total of 8 out of 10 minority Members were present during the first sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House suspended the Question Hour for the entire session to debate upon the budgetary proposals.
- The House took up one of two Calling Attention Notices on the Agenda. The taken up CAN was put up by PMLN members and was directed to Ministry of Religious Affairs.
- Two members took part in the debate on budget. The Opposition Leader spoke on budget for 58 minutes, while a PPPP member spoke for 51 minutes.
- The House offered Fateha for the ex-MNA Hakim Ali Zardari who passed away recently.
Order and institutionalization
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There was no protest in the second sitting of 31st session.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budget speech were available to the concerned.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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