ISLAMABAD, January 13, 2015: Nearly 71% of the agenda was left unaddressed by the National Assembly as points of order (POs) consumed two-third of the proceedings on Tuesday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
Two bills – the Emigration (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Special Citizens Bill 2015 – were introduced by PPPP lawmakers and referred to the relevant standing committees for further deliberations. Meanwhile, a constitution amendment bill introduced by a JUI-F lawmaker was deferred after facing opposition by the Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights.
Two other bills – namely the Pakistan Private Courier Services Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Bill 2015 and the Compulsory Education of Arabic Bill 2015 – were not tabled despite being on the agenda.
The House left two calling attention notices (CANs) unaddressed during the sitting. One of the CANs was related to lack of amenities in Sultanpur village in Havelian, Abbottabad while the other dealt with inclusion of Rs2.4 per unit surcharges in power tariff for consumers and additional cost incurred due to transmission and distribution losses that increased the burden on users by Rs75 billion annually.
In addition, the House did not take up two amendments to the Rules of Procedure, while a report on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 was also not presented by the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights.
The House also left five resolutions unaddressed during the sitting. These were regarding publication of the Holy Quran on quality paper; gas load shedding; reduction in gas tariff; construction of dams in Khuzdar and decreasing unemployment in the country.
Five motions under Rule 259 regarding problems of Pakistani workers abroad; non-implementation of job quota for people with difficulties; speedy and cost-effective justice for citizens; non-payment of ad-hoc allowances in the basic pay of federal government employees and Kashmir policy were also not taken up by the House.
Furthermore, the House also left the debate under Rule 87 regarding alarming population growth rate and its impacts on economy.
Forty-seven lawmakers (14%) were present at the outset and 97 (28%) at the time of sitting’s adjournment.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours.
- The sitting started at 1129 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours, witnessing a delay of 29 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker was absent.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for an hour and 54 minutes.
- Forty-seven lawmakers (14%) were present at the outset and 97 (28%) at the time of sitting’s adjournment. A maximum of 156 members (46%) were observed to be present at one point during the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, ANP, MQM, JI and APML attended the sitting.
- Five minority members were present.
- Twenty lawmakers applied for leave.
- PPPP lawmaker introduced the Emigration (Amendment) Bill 2014 to amend the Emigration Ordinance 1979. The bill was referred to the relevant committee.
- Another PPPP lawmaker introduced the Special Citizens Bill 2015 to protect the rights of special citizens which was also referred to relevant committee.
- JUI-F lawmaker introduced the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2015 to amend Article 31 of the Constitution. However, the bill was deferred after being opposed by the Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs presented a report on the Political Parties Order (Amendment) Bill 2013.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eighteen points of order consumed 80 minutes (67%) of the proceedings’ time.
- Members from FATA staged a three-minute walkout at 1204 hours to lodge their protest against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor for not taking them on board in decisions pertaining to the region. PPPP and JI lawmakers also walked out for two minutes to express solidarity with them on the issue.
- A PML-N lawmaker also walked out at 1319 hours after he was denied permission to speak on a point of order. He did not return to House till sitting’s adjournment.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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