ISLAMABAD, April 22, 2016: With an average of 16% lawmakers present at the start and 31% at the end, the Senate passed four government bills during the 7th (last) sitting of its 127th session on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The House deferred a government bill – the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – after objections on its various clauses raised by PPPP lawmakers including the Opposition Leader while it also witnessed introduction of four other government bills.
Some key observations are as follows:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and one minute.
- The sitting started two minutes late against its scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for158 minutes.
- The Opposition Leader remained present in entire sitting.
- 17 (16%) Senators were present at the start and 32 (31%) at the time of adjournment.
- Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, BNP-M, PkMAP, PML-F, JI and JUI-F were present.
- Three minority members were present.
- The House passed four bills including the Offences in Respect of Banks (Special Courts) (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Equity Participation Fund (Repeal) Bill, 2016; the Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the National University of Sciences and Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
- Four bills – the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, 2016 and the Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Bill, 2016 – were introduced in the House which were referred to the relevant committees for further deliberations.
- The House deferred the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 after being opposed by the PPPP lawmakers including the Opposition Leader. Twenty-three lawmakers spoke on it for 38 minutes.
- The House adopted a resolution for empowerment to the elected representative body of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to further elect its representatives to the Senate of Pakistan.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Chair admitted an adjournment motion (AM) to discuss the poor performance of Pakistan Cricket team in recent T-20 World Cup and the mismanagement of affairs in the Pakistan Cricket Board.
- An AM about continuous absence of Director General Geological Survey of Pakistan, Quetta was not admitted for being the issue of an individual.
- An AM about recent sit-in at D-Chowk Islamabad was disposed of as none of the lawmakers spoke on it despite the Chair’s announcement to discuss it.
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) about depleting water resources in the country particularly in Balochistan and non-custom paid vehicles plying on the roads involving huge amount of tax evasion.
- The House took all 23 starred questions appearing on the agenda. In addition, the lawmakers also asked 28 supplementary questions.
- The House passed a motion to adopt the recommendations on the Money Bill to provide for salary, allowances and privileges of the Members, Election Commission of Pakistan.
- A report of Standing Committee on National Health Services was presented which was about a point of public importance raised by Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh on February 18, 2016 about increase in prices of medicines.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order consumed six minutes of the sitting.
- FATA lawmakers walked out of the House at 1248 hours for not awarding benefits to teachers working in FATA respective to the teachers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Their walkout was joined by PPPP and JUI-F lawmakers, however, PPPP lawmakers returned to the House after four minutes and others did not come back till adjournment of sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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