Senate Passes Right of Access to Information Bill 2017

ISLAMABAD, August 22, 2017: The Senate passed two government bills on Tuesday including the Right of Access to Information Bill 2017, observes the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the proceedings during second sitting of 266th session:

Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for three hours and 25 minutes.
  • The sitting started at its scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Deputy Chairman presided over the proceedings for initial an hour and ten minutes while the Chairman presided the rest of the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and 22 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 28 minutes.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-N, MQM, JUI-F, PkMAP, BNP-M, NP and PML-F attended the sitting.
  • Twenty members (19% of the total membership) were present at the outset and 12 (11%) at the end of sitting.
  • Two minority Senators attended the sitting.


  • The House passed two government bills namely the Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017 and the Post Office (Amendment) Bill, 2017 while the Marine Insurance Bill, 2017 was referred to relevant committee.
  • Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Justice presented the of the committee on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 251).
  • Chairman Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs presented report of the committee on the Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2017.
  • The House adopted the report of the Special Committee on dilapidated condition of Bacha Khan Airport and two reports of the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on amnesty scheme of motor vehicles and the budgetary allocation and utilization in respect of Finance Division, Revenue Division, Economic Affairs Division, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Custom and Inland Revenue, Statistics and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Privatization Division, Controller General of Pakistan (CGA) and Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR), Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), Pakistan Mint, Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
  • The House granted 60-day extension to the relevant Standing Committees for presentation of their reports on the Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the Premarital Blood Screening (Family Laws Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Calling Attention Notice regarding sale of PIA’s A-310 to a German firm. Moreover, thirty-day extension was granted to the standing committee on Law and Justice for presentation of its report on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (substitution of Article 251).
  • On behalf of the Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, the Minister for Commerce and Textile presented the Third Quarterly Report for 2016-17 of the State Bank of Pakistan on the state of the economy and the Federal Accounts for 2015-16 and the reports of Auditor General thereon for the Audit Year 2016-17.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The Chair admitted an Adjournment Motion (AM) for discussion on violation of Pakistan’s International Border and space by US drones. Two other AMs were held out of order.
  • As many as nine out of 59 Starred Questions were taken up for answers during the proceedings. The lawmakers asked 26 supplementary questions as well.
  • The House took up two Calling Attention Notices regarding statement of US Intelligence Chief that India may launch aggressive action inside Pakistan and failure of the Government to establish Federal Drug Surveillance Laboratory.
  • Federal Minister for Defence wound up the debate on the Adjournment Motion regarding the incident of firing by the Afghan Security Forces on a Pakistani census team in Chaman area.

Order and Institutionalization 

  • Nine lawmakers raised Points of Public Importance consuming 38 minutes of the proceedings.
  • A PPPP lawmaker staged a walkout at 1630 hours over not being allowed to speak on her Calling Attention Notice.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  •  The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.

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