ISLAMABAD, December 22, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes – the sixth sitting of the ongoing 37th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 47 (14%) of them present at the start and 43 (13%) at the end.
The Legislators raised 23 Points of Order, consuming 90 minutes (51%) of the sitting time.
The House took up both Calling Attention Notices (CANs) appearing on the Orders of the Day but three Bills on the agenda were not taken up.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 27 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was there for 55 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PMLN, and NPP attended the proceedings.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes.
- The sixth sitting started at 1105 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings were delayed by 65 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 55 minutes while the Deputy Speaker presided over for 81 minutes. However, for the remaining time a Member of Panel of Chairpersons was in the chair.
- The Prime Minister attended the proceedings for 27 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 55 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PMLN, and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the MQM, PPPS, BNPA, MMAP, ANP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PML, MQM, PMLN, NPP and PPPP were present but those representing the ANP, MMAP and PMLF were absent.
- Forty seven (14%) Members were present at the start of the sitting while 43 (13%) were there at the end. A maximum of 148 (44%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Eight Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Four out of 10 Minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Moved by five male PMLN Members, the first CAN was regarding “slow progress/discontinuation of development works in education as well as road sectors by the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA) in the earthquake-affected areas. This was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat.
- The other CAN taken up was sponsored by two male and a female Member of MQM, and a male and a female Member of MMAP. It related to the “increase in the incidents of explosion of LPG and CNG cylinders fitted in vehicles”. This CAN was directed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
- Seventeen questions were listed to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only eight were put forth and responded to by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 12 supplementary questions were raised in the House during the sitting.
- Three Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day which were not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- Twenty three Points of Order were raised, consuming 90 minutes (51%) of the sitting time. However, no Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the 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 Member.
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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