ISLAMABAD, May 6, 2010: The fourth sitting of the 22nd session was marked by low attendance with 63 members present at the outset and 19 members at the end. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 36 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 39 minutes, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Fourth Sitting of 22nd Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 03 hours and 17 minutes.
- The fourth sitting started at 1731 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 31 minutes.
- The House took a break of 21 minutes on the account of prayers.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 39 minutes, the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 80 minutes, while the remaining 57 minutes were chaired by Nadeem Afzal Gondil (Panel of Chairpersons).
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 36 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 39minutes.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, PPPS and BNPA were absent, while only the leader of PMLF was present
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP, PMLF, MMAP, and MQM were present, while the chief whips of PPPS, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Eleven members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 63 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 19 members at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. One CAN was taken up by the House.
- The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Education regarding ‘unavailability of books/material in Urdu/English in the market as well as in the universities on the subject of women studies of B.A. level and the resultant problems of the students’ .This CAN was raised by 5 members of PPPP. The CAN was responded by State Minister for Education Mr. Ghulam Farid Kathia, who told the House that no complaints of unavailability of ‘Women Studies’ books were received.
- A total of 23 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 7 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- There was no bill on the Orders of the Day.
- Two Ordinances ‘the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance, 2010 (No. II of 2010)’ and ‘the Finance (Amendment) Ordinance, 2010 (No. III of 2010)’ were taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- There were 9 Points of Orders raised during the sitting, which consumed 27 minutes of the proceedings.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There was no instance of walkout or boycott during the sitting
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the members of the National Assembly.
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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