ISLAMABAD, June 08, 2015: The entire opposition in the National Assembly walked out of the House for two hours and 40 minutes, calling upon the government to broadcast their budget speeches live on television, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The opposition came back to the House only after getting assurance from the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to telecast the budget session live from tomorrow onwards.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights presented the Finance (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 in the House.
The House did not take up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding the alleged irregularities in the recent Local Government elections in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and non-payment of pension to the pensioners/beneficiaries by the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) at the rate announced during the previous budget.
The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition and Finance Minister were present during the entire sitting.
State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs tabled a motion to suspend the question hour, calling attention notices (CANs) and points of order during the current budget session which was passed by the House.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 35 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- Minister for Finance attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, APML, MQM, JI, QWP, JUI-F, AMLP and BNP were present.
- 57 members (17% of the total membership – 342) were present at the outset while 134 (39%) at the time of adjournment.
- A maximum of 148 legislators (43%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Nine minority members were present during the sitting.
- Twenty lawmakers applied for leave.
- Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights presented the Finance (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 in the House.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two CANs were not taken up by the House which were regarding alleged irregularities in the recent Local Government elections in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and non-payment of pension to the pensioners/beneficiaries by the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) at the rate announced during the previous budget.
Order and Institutionalization
- Sixteen points of order consumed 43 minutes of the sitting.
- The sitting remained suspended for two hours and 40 minutes after the walkout of the entire opposition parties demanding the government to broadcast their budget speeches live on television.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
- The copies of the budget speech were available to the concerned.
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The daily factsheet 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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