ISLAMABAD, March 04, 2015: Starting 50 minutes behind the schedule, the sole sitting of 19th session of the National Assembly witnessed low attendance of lawmakers on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
One hundred and twenty lawmakers (35%) were present at the start and 93 (27%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 61 minutes.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding unprecedented mortality rate of children in the country and non-payment of salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.
A PML-N lawmaker from FATA walked out of the House at 1812 hours over the allegations of horse trading in Senate elections and did not return till adjournment of the sitting at 1917 hours. PPPP and PML-F lawmakers also walked out of the house at 1916 hours for failing to address the grievances of sugarcane growers.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 27 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1650 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The House had a prayer break of 27 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 51 minutes while rest of the proceeding was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader attended the proceedings for 61 minutes.
- One hundred and twenty legislators (35%) were present at the start and 93 (27%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 176 members (51%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, MQM, JI, APML, BNP, PML-F, AMLP and PML-Z attended the sitting.
- Nine minority members were present.
- Six lawmakers applied for leave.
- Parliamentary Secretary for Finance presented the Fiscal Policy Statement and Debt Policy Statement for the year 2014-15.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights presented the report of the committee on the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Sixteen out of 30 starred questions appearing on Orders of the Day were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries/departments. In addition, the lawmakers raised 14 supplementary questions during the sitting.
- Two CANs regarding unprecedented mortality rate of children in the country and non-payment of salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills were taken up by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five points of order consumed 13 minutes of the sitting.
- A PML-N lawmaker from FATA walked out of the House for 65 minutes over the allegation of horse trading in Senate elections.
- PPPP and PML-F lawmakers also walked out from the House one minute before the end of the sitting for failing to resolve the grievances of sugarcane growers.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This session report is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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