ISLAMABAD, December 29, 2010: The National Assembly met for two hours and 52 minutes in the 7th sitting of the ongoing Session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of members with only 21% of the legislators present at the outset of the sitting and 23% present when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 47% MNAs were present in the House when the Prime Minister was present. The Quorum was visible lacking at various stages of the sitting, but was not pointed out by any of the Members.
A total of 14 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 52% of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
The House unanimously passed the Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Bill, 2010 and the Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010 during the course of the sitting.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 75 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 25 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, ANP and PPPS were present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not turn up for the sitting’s proceedings.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 52 minutes.
- The seventh sitting started at 1648 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 48 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting time. The Deputy Speaker was also present during the course of the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 75 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 25 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, ANP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the MQM, MMAP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PML, PMLN, MQM and ANP were present, while the chief whips of MMAP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 71 (21%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 78 (23%) Members were present at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 159 Members (47%) was observed at one point of the sitting, when the Prime Minister was present.
- Twelve Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of five out of 10 minority Members were present during the 7th sitting.
- The House took a 17-minute break for prayers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both the CANs.
- The first CAN was regarding the “grant of waivers to PIA in purchase of equipment by Civil Aviation Authority endangering lives of passengers”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Defence and was moved by one Member of the PPPP and two Members each of the PMLN and PML.
- The other CAN was regarding the “dilapidated condition of roads in Islamabad” which was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat. This CAN was moved by five Members of the PMLN.
- A total of 21 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only five were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 17 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the seventh sitting
- There were two bills [The Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Bill, 2010] and [The Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010] on the Orders of the Day. These Bills were unanimously passed by the House during the course of the sitting.
- One Standing Committee Report regarding the Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was presented during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 14 Points of Order were raised, consuming 90 minutes (52% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one admitted Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day regarding “increase in the prices of electricity and LPG”. The motion was not debated upon during the sitting.
- There were no instances of protests, walkouts or boycotts during the seventh sitting.
- Orders of the Day were 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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