ISLAMABAD, December 19, 2012: Only six Senators were observed to be present at the outset and 22 at the adjournment of the 5th sitting of the ongoing 88th session of the Senate. Starting 53 minutes late, the sitting met for two hours and 26 minutes.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
A calling attention notice appearing on the Orders of the Day was deferred because of the absence of advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources. A total of 18 Points of Order consumed 39% of the sitting time.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 26 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1653 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 53 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, NP and JUIF attended the sitting while those of MQM, PML, JUIF and BNPA remained absent.
- Only six Senators (6% of the total membership – 104) were present at the start, while 22 (21%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum 42 Senators were observed to be present at one point of sitting.
- Two minority Senators attended the sitting.
- Eleven Senators applied for leave.
- The House took a 23-minute prayer break.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only six of the 27 Starred Questions (requiring oral replies) appearing on the Orders of the Day were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 15 Supplementary Questions were asked.
- A Calling Attention Notice (CAN) about the failure of government to devise a formula for CNG prices as per directives of Supreme Court as well as discrepancy in the prices and volume of gas to different sectors was deferred due to the absence of the advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources.
- Two Standing Committee Reports – on the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Act 2012, and Public Hearing of Defence and Defence Production committee” – were presented to the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eighteen Points of Order were raised which consumed 48 minutes (39%) of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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