ISLAMABAD, January 20, 2020: The Senate adopted four resolutions and debated ongoing wheat and flour crisis in the country, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Monday.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during eleventh sitting of the 295th session:
- The House met for three hours and 41 minutes.
- The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was also present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and 19 minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present two hours 23 minutes.
- As many as 17 lawmakers (16%) were present at the outset and 20 (19%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, PML-N, PTI, PML-F, BNP-M, PkMAP, PPPP, MQM and ANP attended the sitting.
- As many as two out of four minority lawmakers were present.
- A JI lawmaker introduced two bills seeking amendments in Articles 213 and 45 of the Constitution. Both bills were referred to the relevant committee for consideration.
- Another bill seeking amendment in Article 198 of the Constitution was deferred on the request of PML-N lawmaker who sponsored this bill.
- Another bill – the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 – sponsored by the PTI lawmaker was also deferred by the Chair on the request of the mover.
- Moved by the Leader of the House, the House passed the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
- The House passed two motions under Rule 115 which were about withdrawal of the Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Board of Investment (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
- The House passed a motion Rule 126 (7) which was about consideration of the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2019 in a joint sitting as it has not been passed by the National Assembly within ninety days despite its passage from the Senate.
- Tabled by a JI lawmaker, the House rejected a resolution with majority vote regarding withdrawal of recent 10 percent increase in toll tax on Motorways. Twelve lawmakers voted in favor of the resolution and 15 voted against it.
- The House unanimously adopted four resolutions to extend medical quota for students of Balochistan and FATA till 2022 seeking admission in Medical and Dental colleges, take steps in coordination with the Provincial Governments to bring down the rate of population growth, facilitate the business community to encourage the local and foreign investors and to provide official accommodations to all employees working in government and semi-government departments.
- Two resolutions were referred to the relevant committees which demanded to stop practice of reemployment of retired employees in PIA on contract basis and enhance the limit of age relaxation for recruitment in the Federal Government Departments by further two years.
- Another resolution to include biographies of all the Martyrs awarded Nishan-e-Haider in the curriculum of all the educational institutions was deferred on the request of mover.
- A bill – the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Bill, 2020 – was deferred as the Standing Committee on Interior could not present report on it.
- Two bills including the Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the University of Islamabad Bill, 2020 were referred to the relevant committees. These bills were introduced by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and the Leader of the House respectively.
- Secretary Senate informed the House about decision of the Chairman to grant extension of 60 days to Standing Committee on Finance for presentation of its two reports. Likewise, 60-day extension was granted to a Special Implementation Committee for presentation of its report about fee charged by the schools during vacations.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House discussed four motions under Rule 218 about economic slowdown, increase of 8.9% in the fiscal deficit, the performance of Pakistan Railways and decline of Pakistan Television Corporation in terms of production, quality of entertainment programs and revenue generation. A total of eight lawmakers and Ministers for Parliamentary Affairs and Railways participated in debate on it for 58 minutes.
- Four other motions under Rule 218 were deferred on the request of their movers. These motions were about construction of Sindh Barrage on River Indus, functioning of newly established National Coastal Development Authority, progress on the project of Diamir Basha Dam and health problems faced by children due to malnutrition in Islamabad Capital Territory.
- A motion regarding performance of CDA with particular reference to CDA offices in the Parliament House and Parliament Lodges was dropped due to mover’s absence.
- The House held debate on recent flour crisis in the country and ten lawmakers spoke on it for 54 minutes.
- As many as nine lawmakers spoke on Matters of Public Importance for 24 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Seven lawmakers spoke on points of order for 17 minutes.
- The opposition lawmakers staged a token walkout against absence of Minister for National Food Security and Research during debate on flour crisis in the House.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on January 21, 2020 (Tuesday) at 1500 hours.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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