ISLAMABAD, May 11, 2015: The Upper House of the Parliament left 60% of its agenda unaddressed on Monday as the House continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started at its scheduled time with 18 legislators (17%) present at the start and 26 (25%) at the time of adjournment.
Two resolutions on the agenda were not taken up due to the movers’ absence. These were related to provision of government jobs on merit and on-campus accommodation for female students in universities.
Other unaddressed agenda included two commenced motions regarding provision of speedy justice and spread of hepatitis. Five other motions regarding low water level in Balochistan, shortage of electricity, poor sanitation in rural areas of Islamabad, job protection for employees of privatized government departments and performance of Pakistani embassies abroad were also left unaddressed.
The House unanimously passed a resolution to mourn the loss of precious lives in Naltar on Friday. The lawmakers observed a minute of silence for the victims.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for six hours and 33 minutes.
- The sitting started at its scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The House observed a prayer break for 13 minutes.
- 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 four hours and 30 minutes.
- The Prime Minister was not present.
- 18 Senators (17%) were present at the start and 26 (25%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 56 Senators (54%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-N, PTI, JI, ANP, PML, JUI-F, PkMAP, MQM and PML-F were present.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
- Nine members applied for leave.
- The House unanimously passed a resolution to express grief over loss of precious lives in the Naltar tragedy.
- Other resolutions adopted by the House were related to universal salt iodization, making Saidu Sharif airport operational and reducing indirect taxation in the country.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House debated a commenced motion under Rule 218 regarding the overall performance of the banking sector in the country. Ten lawmakers (Three belonging to PPPP, two from PML-N, an independent member and one each from JUI-F, PkMAP, MQM and ANP) participated in the debate for 41 minutes. The Chair requested the presence of Finance Minister to wind up debate.
- Another commenced motion regarding the new aviation policy was debated during the sitting in which 11 lawmakers (two each from PPPP, MQM, PTI and one each from BNP-M, ANP, PML, JUI-F and PML-N) spoke for 61 minutes. The debate was concluded by the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs during his 13-minute speech.
- The House concluded the debate on Pak-China Economic Corridor under another commenced motion as the Chair requested the constitution of a special committee to review the issue in detail. Twenty-one senators (five from PML-N, three belonging to PTI, two each from PPPP, PML and ANP and one each from BNP-A, PkMAP, BNP-M, MQM, JI, JUI-F and independent lawmaker) spoke on the motion for two hours and 46 minutes. The Minister for Planning, Development and Reform concluded the debate on the motion during his 63-minute speech.
Order and Institutionalization
- No point of order was raised during 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 has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet 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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