ISLAMABAD, February 20, 2018: The National Assembly transacted 83% of the scheduled business during its 52nd session that continued between February 12, 2018 and February 20, 2018, observes Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on direct observation of the House proceedings.
The House approved the important legislation on the rights of children, health sector reforms and technical education. The approved legislation also included private members’ bills regarding regulation of recruitment in government departments and the National Assembly Secretariat, formation of a regulatory authority for courier and logistical services and amendments in the criminal laws.
In total, the House passed 11 bills, referred three legislative proposals to relevant committees, adopted seven resolutions, approved seven amendments to the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, discussed 10 Calling Attention Notices and held four Question Hours during the reporting period.
- Govt Legislation Focuses on Children’s Rights, Health Sector Reforms and Technical Education
- Six Private Members’ Bills Among Approved Legislation
- Lack of Quorum Leads to Adjournment of Proceedings Twice during the session
The seven-sitting session spanned over 20 hours and 36 minutes. Each sitting, on average, continued for two hours and 56 minutes. The Prime Minister was observed to be present during one sitting only for an hour and 13 minutes (six percent of the proceedings), while the Leader of the Opposition attended four out of seven sittings and remained present for four hours and 54 minutes (24% of the proceedings).
According to official attendance records, 179 (52%) lawmakers attended each sitting on an average. The highest attendance – 221 members present – was recorded during the last sitting while the lowest attendance – 124 members present – was witnessed during the fifth sitting. As per the headcount conducted by FAFEN at the commencement and conclusion of the sittings, on average 27 lawmakers were present at the start and 46 at the adjournment of each sitting. Out of eight minority lawmakers, on average, five were present during each sitting. As many as two sittings of the session were adjourned due to lack of quorum.
The Speaker was present during six sittings and presided over 43% of the proceedings (eight hours and 54 minutes) while the Deputy Speaker attended four sittings and chaired 36% of the proceedings (seven hours and 26 minutes). Nearly 12% of the proceedings (two hours and 33 minutes) were presided over by a Member of the Panel of Chairpersons while eight percent of the proceedings (an hour and 43 minutes) were lost in suspensions due to various prayer breaks.
Among the leaders of 17 parliamentary parties, the leaders of PkMAP and APML were observed present in every sitting while the leaders of PPPP, QWP-S and AJIP attended six sittings each. The leaders of JI and PML-Z were present in four sittings, leaders of BNP and NP in four sittings and leader of ANP in three sittings. Moreover, the parliamentary leaders of PML, JUI-F, AMLP and NPP attended only one sitting while the leaders of PTI, MQM and PML-F remained absent from the proceedings throughout the session.
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