ISLAMABAD, November 12, 2015: The Senate’s sitting on Thursday did not take up around 80% questions appearing on the agenda due to absence of movers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started two minutes behind the scheduled time of 1000 hours with 7 legislators (6%) present at the start and 27 (26%) at the time of its adjournment.
Three out of 14 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and were responded to by the relevant ministers. The rest of the questions remained unaddressed owing absence of lawmakers sponsoring them.
Following are some key observations of the House proceeding:
Members’ Participation in House Proceeding
- The Senate met for three hours and 17 minutes
- The sitting started two minutes behind the scheduled time of 1000 hours
- The Chairman presided over the sitting for two hours and 19 minutes while rest of the proceeding was chaired by Deputy Chairman
- The Prime Minister was not present
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours
- The Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 24 minutes
- Seven Senators (6%) were present at outset and 27 (26%) at end of the sitting
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, BNP-M, PTI, PML-N, MQM, NP, JI, PML-F, ANP and PML were present
- One minority member was present
- Chairman, Functional Committee on Devolution Process presented report on a resolution regarding shifting of Pakistan Cricket Board Office from Lahore to Islamabad.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three out of 14 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised 26 supplementary questions during the sitting.
- The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding non-payment of salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills for the last two months and non-payment of gratuity to retired employees since 2013.
- Another CAN about decision of the Government to extend tax return filing date was not taken up by the House due to absence of mover.
- The House passed a motion under sub-rule (1) of rule 194 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012. It was about seeking extension in time period for presentation of report on the Pakistan Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 for a period of thirty working days with effect from November 14, 2015.
- The House discussed report about 1st Bi-annual Monitoring on the implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award (July-December, 2014) following motion under Rule 157 (2).
- Thirteen lawmakers – PPPP (5), PML-N (2), ANP, PML, JI, NP, PkMAP (one each) and an Independent lawmaker – spoke on aforementioned report for 55 minutes. Chairman Senate also expressed his views on it for three minutes.
- The Chair admitted an adjournment motion (AM) for discussion regarding a news item published in “The Nation” saying that over five hundred candidates backed by banned outfits have made their way into the Punjab Local Government System.
- The Chair deferred the discussion on an AM about accumulation of total debt over Rs. 3.81 trillion on the written request of mover who could not attend today’s sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Fifteen points of public importance consumed 46 minutes of the sitting’s time.
- All Opposition parties except BNP-M staged walk out of the House for two minutes over absence of Minister for Finance during debate on NFC award in the House.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers was available to observers and media.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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