Senate Passes 16 Bills, Makes 156 Recommendations on Finance Bill

ISLAMABAD, May 18, 2018: The Senate passed 14 government bills and two private members’ bills during the 277th session that continued between April 27, 2018 and May 15, 2018.

The session comprising 12 sittings also adopted three resolutions and took up four Calling Attention Notices (CANs). According to FAFEN’s headcounts, on an average, 18 (17%) lawmakers were present at the commencement and 17 (16%) at the adjournment of each sitting. Senate’s official attendance records show an average 64 of (62%) members present during each sitting.

On average, the sittings started four minutes behind the scheduled time while the average duration of each sitting remained two hours and 47 minutes. The Chairman attended ten out of 12 sittings and presided over 79% of the proceedings while the Deputy Chairman attended only two sitting and presided over 21% of the proceedings.

The Leader of the House attended 57% proceedings during 11 sittings while the Leader of the Opposition attended 60% of the proceedings during 10 sittings. The Prime Minister did not attend any of the sittings. According to the Senate’s Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, 2012, the Prime Minister is required to attend the Prime Minister’s Zero Hour (last half hour of each sitting) at least once in every week when the Senate is in session.

Among parliamentary leaders in the Senate, the leader of PPPP attended 11 sitting, PkMAP 10, PTI 9, JUIF 6, BNP-M 7, NP 3 and PML-F and PML-N two.

The House considered a legislative business comprising 23 bills including the Finance Bill, 2018 and five private members’ bills. The House passed 14 government and two private members’ bills while seven bills including the Finance Bill 2018 were referred to the relevant standing committees seeking their recommendations. The House withdrew three government bills which were pending in the Senate Standing Committees before the dissolution of these committees following the retirement of half of the Senate membership in March 2018.

The House adopted three private members’ resolutions condemning recent Indian and Israeli atrocities in Kashmir Palestine respectively and expressing dissatisfaction on rehabilitation work in the areas affected by 2005 earthquake. The House recommended the federal government to announce special package for earthquake-hit areas at the earliest.

As many as three private members’ resolutions recommending compulsory self-defense training in schools, ban on plastic materials and special budget for Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were dropped due to absence of the concerned lawmakers at the time of consideration of these resolutions.

Moreover, the House deferred a resolution suggesting the government to name the new Islamabad Airport after Benazir Bhutto.

The House debated two out of six Motions under Rule 218 moved by the lawmakers to highlight various matters of public importance. The debates were held on the current political situation in the country and low pressure of natural gas during winter season. Other unaddressed motions had sought discussion on energy crisis, falling standard of higher education in the country, government’s efforts to curb nepotism and performance of Capital Administration Authority.

On the motion of Leaders of the House and the Opposition, the House approved the constitution of the Senate Standing and Functional Committees and also authorized the Chairman to constitute a Special Committee on Law Reforms.

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