ISLAMABAD, April 29, 2015: The last sitting of National Assembly’s 21st session was marked by thin attendance and nearly half of the proceedings’ time being consumed by points of order (POs), says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 45 minutes behind the schedule with 81 lawmakers (24%) present at the start and 17 (5%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister was not present, while the Opposition Leader attended 26% of the proceedings.
The lawmakers raised 25 POs that consumed 49% of the proceedings’ time. However, the House took up most of the agenda during the rest of the sitting.
The House passed the Securities Bill 2015, which was originally introduced in the Senate to amend and consolidate laws regulating the securities industry. In addition, the Corporate Restructuring Companies Bill 2015 was introduced and referred to the relevant standing committee.
The House also took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding water shortage in Karachi due to delay in release of funds for the K-IV water project and students’ admissions in education institutions abroad under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan program.
In addition, a motion to constitute a standing committee for the Climate Change Ministry was passed during the sitting.
The Minister for Planning Development and Reform gave a policy statement on the Pak-China Economic Corridor while speaking on a PO for 45 minutes. Furthermore, the newly-elected MQM member from NA-246 took oath during the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 19 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1115 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for 67 minutes.
- 81 (24%) members were present at the start and 17 (5%) at the time of adjournment.
- A maximum of 148 (43%) lawmakers attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, MQM, ANP, BNP, PML-Z and QWP were present.
- Nine out of 10 minority members were present.
- 31 members applied for leave.
- The House passed the Securities Bill 2015 to amend and consolidate laws regulating the securities industry
- The Corporate Restructuring Companies Bill 2015 was introduced and referred to the relevant standing committee.
- The Chairman Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan presented the committee’s periodic report for November 2013 to June 2014.
- The Chairman Standing Committee on Defence presented the committee’s periodic report for November 2013 to December 2014.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eleven out of 34 questions were taken up during the sitting. Additionally, the legislators raised 19 supplementary questions.
- The House took up two CANs regarding water shortage in Karachi due to delay in release of funds for the K-IV water project and students’ admissions in education institutions abroad under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan program
- The House also passed a motion to constitute a standing committee for the Climate Change Ministry.
- A PML-N member moved a privilege motion against the misbehaviour of the Railways Secretary, which was referred to the relevant standing committee.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-five POs consumed 127 minutes (49%) of the sitting.
- Opposition members staged a walkout at 1250 hours to protest the non-release of development funds for MNAs and privatization of Heavy Mechanical Complex in Taxila. While PTI lawmakers returned at 1306 hours, other members remained absent till the end of the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and 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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