ISLAMABAD, April 26, 2011: The National Assembly met for an hour and 53 minutes in the 12th sitting of the ongoing 30th session, which was marked by 29 Points of Order being raised by the members consuming almost two thirds of the sitting time (64% of total sitting time). The sitting which started 70 minutes late witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 63 Members present at the beginning and 102 present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House was able to dispose off a good portion of the agenda listed for Private Members Day in 41 minutes in a sitting which lasted for less than two hours.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 23 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present. With the exception of Prime Minister, no parliamentary leader of any party attended the 12th sitting.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for one hour and 53 minutes.
- The twelfth sitting started at 1110 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 70 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker remained absent during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister was present for 23 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- With the exception of the Prime Minister, no other parliamentary leader of any party attended the 12th sitting.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of MMAP, ANP, PML, NPP, PPPS and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 63 (18%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 102 (30%) members at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 142 members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Seven members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as seven out of 10 minority members were present during the 11thsitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The taken up CAN was regarding “the non-availability of funds for the construction of Bhasha-Diamer Dam”. This CAN was raised by five male members of MQM.
- There was no question hour during 12th sitting as it was a Private Members Day
- Four Private Members Bill were taken up by the House during the 12th sitting.
- The Capital Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2011], The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2011 and The De-weaponisation of Pakistan Bill,2011 were sent to respective standing committees while The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill, 2008 was deferred to the next Private Members Day.
- The first two bills were moved by a male member of PPPP, third one was jointly put up by 23 members of MQM while the last one was tabled by a female member of PML.
- A Standing Committee Report on The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill, 2010 was presented before the House.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 29 Points of Order were raised, consuming 72 minutes (64% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Point of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The parliamentary party of ANP staged a walkout against “electricity load shedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”. The members of this ruling coalition partner walked out of House at 1220 hours and did not return to attend the remaining proceedings.
- 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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