Productive Eighth Sitting Marked By Low Members’ Attendance

ISLAMABAD, November 23, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 57 minutes during the eighth sitting of the ongoing 36th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 24 Legislators were present at the start, while 64 were present when the sitting was adjourned.

The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, the lack of it was not pointed out by any of the Members.

The House unanimously passed the three Amendment Bills which appeared on the Orders of the Day. A Resolution regarding women rights, presented as supplementary agenda, was also taken up.

The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 22 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was not present. The parliamentary leaders of the PPPS and NPP attended the proceedings.

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for two hours and 57 minutes.
  • The eighth sitting started exactly at 1700 Hours.
  • The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker remained absent. The entire sitting was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons.
  • The Prime Minister was present for 22 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
  • The Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the MQM, BNPA, MMAP, ANP, PML and PMLF were absent.
  • The Chief Whips of MMAP, PML, MQM, PMLN and PPPP were present, while those of the ANP and PMLF were absent.
  • A total of 24 (7%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 64 (19%) Members at the end of the sitting.
  • A total of 22 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • All minority Members were present during the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up both the Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day.
  • Moved by five PPPP Members – four females and one male – the first CAN was about “high prices of the flats to be constructed for government employees in Islamabad under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme”, which was directed to Ministry of Housing and Works.
  • The other CAN was about the “non-payment of electricity bills by 132 Government Departments”. Sponsored by five PMLN Members – three male and two female Members – it was directed to the Ministry of Water and Power.
  • A total of 20 questions were listed to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only seven questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
  • A total of 26 supplementary questions were raised in the House during the sitting.


  • Three Bills [The Anti-Dumping Duties (Amendment) Bill 2009, the Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill 2010 and the Islamabad Consumers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2010] were unanimously passed by the House.
  • One Standing Committee report on the Petroleum Products (Petroleum Levy) (Amendment) Bill, 2011was presented in the House.
  • The House adopted a Resolution regarding women rights. The Resolution was presented as supplementary, and was moved by the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights.

Order and institutionalization

  • A total of 20 Points of Order were raised, consuming 35 minutes (19% of sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
  • The House did not debate on the Motion under Rule 259 about the shortage of urea.
  • There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the 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.

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