ISLAMABAD, June 15, 2015: The Senate continued to debate the Finance Bill 2015 on Monday as the House witnessed low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Fourteen members (13%) were present at the start of the sitting and 30 (29%) at the time of adjournment. Six lawmakers – two from PML-N, one each from MQM and BNP-A and two independent members – participated in the debate on the annual budget statement 2015-16 for 52% of the proceedings’ time.
The Housed passed two separate motions to consider the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Emigration (Amendment) Bill 2014, which have been pending with the National Assembly for more than 90 days.
Two calling attention notices (CANs) on alleged irregularities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s local government elections and import of substandard wheat from Ukraine were not taken up during the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 18 minutes.
- The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for 31 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML-N, MQM, ANP, PPPP, PTI, PkMAP & BNP-M were present.
- 14 members were present at the start and 30 at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 44 lawmakers (42%) attended the proceedings.
- Three minority lawmakers were present.
- Seven legislators applied for leave.
- The Chairman Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights presented a report on the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill 2015 during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Six lawmakers – two from PML-N, one each from MQM and BNP-A and two independent members – debated the annual budget statement 2015-16 for 72 minutes.
- Two calling attention notices (CANs) on alleged irregularities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s local government elections and import of substandard wheat from Ukraine were not taken up during the sitting.
- The Chair did not admit an adjournment motion on the DG Rangers’ official statement in which he made startling revelations on regarding criminal activity in Karachi. The motion was converted into a CAN and will be part of the agenda on June 17.
- The Housed passed two separate motions to consider the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Emigration (Amendment) Bill 2014, which have been pending with the National Assembly for more than 90 days.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twelve points of order consumed 24 minutes (17%) of the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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