ISLAMABAD, April 27, 2011: The National Assembly disposed off almost entire agenda set for sitting during the course of 13th sitting of the ongoing 30th session. The agenda-focused 13th sitting was relatively better attended by Members with 67 members present when the sitting was started while 133 members were present when the sitting was adjourned. Maximum of 162 members were present at one point of the sitting.
Only five Points of Order were raised consuming 23% of sitting time showing a shift of the House towards more productive agenda. Two Calling Attention Notices, almost half of the listed questions, a legislation piece, three standing committee reports and the statements of the fiscal and debt policies were taken up during the 13th sitting.
Although there was no instance of boycott or walkout during the 13th sitting, the PMLN members protested against government policies on the floor of the House during the course of the sitting.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 40 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 102 minutes.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 3 hours and 25 minutes.
- The thirteenth sitting started at 1730 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 30 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker remained absent during the proceedings.
- The Prime Minister was present for 40 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 102 minutes.
- Besides PM and Opposition Leader, the Parliamentary Leader of the PML and PPPS were present while the leaders of the PMLF, MMAP, ANP, MQM, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM, MMAP, ANP and PPPS were present, while the chief whips of PML, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 67 (20%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 133 (39%) members at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 162 members (47%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The House took a 25-minute break for prayers.
- Four members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as eight out of 10 minority members were present during the 13th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both.
- The first CAN was regarding “construction of dams on rivers flowing from India to Pakistan resulting in stoppage of water”, which was directed to Ministry of Water and Power. This CAN was moved by five PPPP Members- 3 men and 2 women.
- The other taken up CAN, directed to Ministry of Interior was regarding “non-registration of arms licenses by the DCO Gujranwala issued by Ministry of Interior”. This CAN was jointly moved by three male members of PML and one each male member of PMLN and PPPP.
- A total of 23 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, 11 questions were put up and responded to by the relevant ministry.
- A total of 21 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the thirteenth sitting.
- Three PPPP Members spoke on presidential address for 29 minutes.
- The Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2011 was taken up during the 13th sitting. The Bill was deferred by the House.
- Three Standing Committee reports were presented before the House during the 13th sitting.
- The Fiscal Policy Statement for the year 2010-2011 and the Debt Policy Statement for the year 2010-2011were laid before the House during the 13th sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 5 Points of Order were raised, consuming 47 minutes (23% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Point of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- An independent Member from FATA submitted a privilege motion against “not granting the permission by political administration to speak to people on occasion of Governor KP visit to his constituency”. The motion was accepted and sent to relevant committee.
- There were no instances of walkout or boycott by the members however, the members of PMLN continued protesting against the government policies on the floor of the House during the entire 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 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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