ISLAMABAD, October 4, 2010: The National Assembly met for three hours and 46 minutes in the 11th sitting of the 25th session with low attendance of the members. There were only 44 (13%) members present at the outset of the sitting, while 46(14%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House passed two bills and raised a total of four out of the 14 questions which were on the agenda. As many as 30 Points of Order were raised which consumed half of the sitting time.
The sitting witnessed an 18-minute walkout by the members of PMLN. The parliamentary party expressed their reservations over not being taken into confidence on the “National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance”.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 80 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 123 minutes. Only the Parliamentary Leader of the PML was present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 46 minutes.
- The eleventh sitting started at 1725 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 25 minutes.
- A Member of the Panel of Chairpersons presided over the initial 60 minutes of the sitting, while the remaining time of the sitting was chaired by the Speaker. The Deputy Speaker remained absent.
- The Prime Minister was present for 80 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 123 minutes.
- Only the Parliamentary Leader PML was present, while the leaders of PPPS, MMAP, MQM, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML and MMAP were present, while the chief whips of ANP, MQM, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 44 (13%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 46 (14%) members at the end of the sitting.
- The House took a 30-minute break for prayers.
- Twenty-nine members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as six 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 both the CANs
- The first CAN was regarding “closure of Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC)” which was directed to the Ministry of Water and Power. The CAN was moved by four members of the PML.
- The second CAN on the Orders of the Day was regarding “termination of support staff of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PSCIR” which was directed to the Ministry of Science and Technology. This CAN was moved by four members of the PPPP and one member belonging to the ANP.
- A total of 14 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only four were raised and responded to by the relevant minister
- A total of 12 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the eleventh sitting
- There were six bills on the Orders of the Day. The House passed two bills [The National Disaster Management Bill, 2010] and [The Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2010], while one bill [The Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2010] was sent to the Standing Committee of Water and Power.
Order and institutionalization
- 30 Points of Order were raised, consuming 114 minutes of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The House did not debate on the admitted Adjournment Motion regarding “non-release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from prison in the USA”.
- There was one Motion Under Rule 259 on the Orders of the Day, regarding “Human Rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir” which was not taken up by the House.
- There was an instance of a walkout by members of PMLN. The parliamentary party expressed their reservations over not being taken into confidence on the “National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance”. The walkout lasted 18 minutes.
- 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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