ISLAMABAD, April 23, 2019: The National Assembly witnessed the introduction of nine private members’ bills, which were referred to the relevant committees for further consideration, observes Free and Fair Election (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Tuesday.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during second sitting of the ninth session:
- The House met for three hours and 24 minutes, while the proceedings remained suspended for 33 minutes due to a prayer break.
- The proceedings started at 1131 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Deputy Speaker, in the absence of the Speaker, presided over the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 46 lawmakers (13%) were present at the outset and 121 (35%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PPPP, PML-N, BNP, GDA and MMAP attended the sitting.
- Seven out of 10 minority lawmakers were present.
- The House witnessed the introduction of nine private members’ bills, including the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Chamber of Agriculture Bill, 2019; the Prohibition of Forced Religious Conversion Bill, 2019; the Eradication of Riba Bill, 2019; the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 1, 51, 59, 106, 154, 175A, 198 and 218 and two identical bills namely the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 51 and 106). All these bills were referred to the relevant committees for deliberations.
- Six lawmakers spoke on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 1, 51, 59, 106, 154, 175A, 198 and 218) for 28 minutes. This bill was related to the creation of South Punjab province and the restoration of the provincial status of Bahawalpur.
- The Chair deferred three bills on the request of the movers, which included the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Section 489F), the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Section 166A, B, 176A, B, C, D, E, F and G).
- A PTI lawmaker withdrew her bill namely the Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
- Sponsored by an MMAP lawmaker, the House rejected a motion to introduce the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Article 184) with majority vote. Seventy-one lawmakers voted in favor of the motion while 80 voted against it.
- A bill – the Naturalization (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – was not taken up due to the absence of the mover.
- The House did not take up other 21 private members’ bills, five resolutions, five motions under Rule 259, three reports of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice, one report of Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, amendments to the rules and procedure and conduct of business and two matters of public importance under Rule 87 for discussion.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Minister for Power and Petroleum Divisions responded to two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding increase in the power load-shedding and recent hike in prices of petroleum products.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five lawmakers including the Minister for Communications spoke on points of order for 31 minutes.
- The opposition protested on floor of the House for 14 minutes during the speech of the Minister for Communications on a political issue.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on April 24, 2019 (Wednesday) at 1100 hours.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly’s proceedings, conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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