National Assembly Unable to Pass Inquiry Commission Bill

ISLAMABAD, November 28, 2016: The National Assembly was unable to pass the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill, 2016 on Monday due to lack of quorum. However, the government succeeded in getting extension in time period of two tax-related ordinances, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during seventh sitting of the 37th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The National Assembly met for three hours and 27 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1743 hours against the scheduled time of 1730 hours.
  • The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was also present.
  • The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
  • Forty-one lawmakers (12%) were present at outset and 84 (25%) at adjournment of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, JI, QWP-S and ANP attended the sitting.
  • Five minority members were present.


  • The House could not pass the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill, 2016 due to lack of quorum and walkout by the opposition parties.
  • Tabled by the Minister for Law, the House extended the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 for a further period of 120 days each.
  • The Minister for Law introduced the Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • A PML-N lawmaker presented Annual Report of the State Bank of Pakistan before the House.
  • The House left seven reports of the Standing Committees appeared on the agenda unaddressed.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • A Motion of Thanks to the President of Pakistan for his address to the Parliament was not taken up.
  • As many as 17 out of 35 Starred Questions were responded to by the government. The lawmakers also asked 28 Supplementary Questions
  • The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding content of television serials promoting instances of divorce while another CAN on non-provision of facilities to the Temporarily Dislocated Persons of South Waziristan remained unaddressed.

Order and Institutionalization

  • The opposition parties walked out of the House for 10 minutes against the extension given to the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016.
  • The opposition parties walked out again at 2101 hours against the motion moved by Law Minister for consideration of the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill, 2016. Later, a female lawmaker of PPPP pointed out the quorum and the Speaker was forced to order for ringing of bells for five minutes. However, even after the passage of 10 minutes, the quorum was not found complete and the proceedings were adjourned for next day.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • The attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.

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.