Opposition Walks Out from Senate against Tax-Amnesty Ordinances

ISLAMABAD, April 12, 2018: The Opposition walked out from the Senate proceedings on Thursday to protest against the presentation of the ordinances promulgated to give effect to tax amnesty scheme announced by the Prime Minister last week, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during the fourth sitting of 276th session:

 Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for an hour and 43 minutes.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
  • The Deputy Chairman was also present.
  • The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for an hour and 36 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for an hour and 16 minutes.
  • As many as 18 (17%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 16 (15%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of JI, BNP-M, PTI, JUI-F, PML-F, PPPP and PML-N attended the sitting.
  • As many as two minority lawmakers were present.


  • Minister for Climate Change laid the Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance, 2018, the Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Ordinance, 2018 and the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. The Chair asked the lawmakers to submit their recommendations on these ordinances till April 14, 2018.
  • Minister for Petroleum introduced the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The House referred the bill to the relevant committee for its review and recommendations.
  • Minister for Law and Justice introduced the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the Limitation Relating to Civil Revisions Bill, 2018, the Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Federal Judicial Academy (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The House referred these bills to the relevant standing committees for their review and recommendations.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up six out of 11 Starred Questions during the proceedings. In addition, lawmakers asked 19 supplementary questions. According to the Rule 57 of the Senate Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, 2012, not more than three supplementary questions shall be asked in respect of any question. However, lawmakers asked more than three supplementary questions in respect of three Starred Questions.
  • The House did not address Calling Attention Notices (CANs) appearing on Orders of the Day.
  • The House approved a motion to elect the members of the Senate Standing Committees on Finance, Planning and Law and Justice.
  • Minister for Climate Change moved the House for discussion on the Annual Report of the National Economic Council for the Financial Year 2016-17. However, none of the lawmakers spoke on the report.
  • The Chair rejected two Adjournment Motions (AM) for being in contravention with the rules while one AM was dropped due to absence of the relevant lawmaker.
  • The House did not hold the scheduled discussion on an Adjournment Motion regarding operationalizing new Islamabad International Airport.

Order and Institutionalization

  • The opposition lawmakers staged a 12-minute walkout against rejection of an AM.
  • The lawmakers belonging to PTI staged 15-minute walkout against the election of members of Senate Standing Committees including Finance, Planning and Law and Justice.
  • A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1603 hours that led to ringing of the bells for five minutes. The House was found in order after the bells at 1608 hours.
  • Entire opposition walked out from the proceedings at 1638 hours against presentation of tax-related ordinances and did not return to the proceedings.
  • A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum again at 1643 hours which led to the adjournment of sitting.


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

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted