ISLAMABAD, April 25, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 51 minutes in the 11th sitting of the ongoing 30th session with low attendance of the members. The sitting which started 64 minutes late witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 72 Members present at the beginning and 53 present when the sitting was adjourned.
With the exception of question hour, the House did not take up any agenda, listed on the Orders of the Day. More than half of the sitting time (53%) was consumed by 20 Points of Order, raised by Members. The Speaker did not make formal ruling on any of the Point of Orders.
Of 41 listed questions, a total of seven questions were raised and responded by relevant ministry. The Members also raised 15 supplementary questions.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 46 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 66 minutes. The 11th Sitting witnessed separate walkouts by two individual Members.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 2 hours and 51 minutes.
- The eleventh sitting started at 1804 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 64 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker remained absent during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister was present for 46 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 66 minutes.
- Besides PM and Opposition Leader, the Parliamentary Leader of the PML, PPPS and PMLF were present while the leaders of the MMAP, ANP, MQM, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PMLN, PML, MQM, ANP and PPPS were present, while the chief whips of PPPP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 72 (21%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 53 (16%) members at the end of the sitting.
- The House took a 35-minute break for prayers.
- Eleven members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as eight 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 did not take up any.
- A total of 41 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 7 were raised and responded to by the relevant ministry.
- A total of 15 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the eleventh sitting
- No bill was taken up during the 11th sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 20 Points of Order were raised, consuming 91 minutes (53% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Point of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- There were two instances of walkouts during the sitting. In first instance an independent member Sajid Hussain Toori walked out of Session against ‘no attention of government towards closure of Parachanar Road’. He walked out of session at 1820 and did not return for the remaining proceedings. A minority member from PML Akram Masih Gill walked out of the session against ‘not granting the leave to Christian employees in public sector on account of Good Friday and Easter’. His walkout turned out to be the last happening of the session as Deputy Speaker adjourned the session for April 26, 2011 to meet at 1000 hours.
- 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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