ISLAMABAD, July 13, 2020: The Senate referred eight private members’ bills to the relevant committees after their introduction in the House and adopted three resolutions on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during first sitting of 300th session:
- The House met for five hours and 47 minutes.
- The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was also present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for five hours and 26 minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for three hours and 23 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 17 lawmakers (16%) were present at the outset and 11 (10%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, JUI-F, PML-N, PPPP, ANP, MQM, PkMAP and BNP-M attended the sitting.
- Two out of four minority lawmakers were also present.
- The House witnessed introduction of eight private members’ bills which were the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Islamabad Capital Territory Law Officers Bill, 2020; the Press Council of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Islamabad Capital Territory Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) Bill, 2020; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Amendment of Article 73); the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Amendment of Article 140) and the Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) (Amendment) Bill, 2020. All these bills were referred to the relevant committees for deliberations.
- Sponsored by an Independent lawmaker, the House passed the Dyslexia Special Measures Bill, 2020.
- The House rejected a motion with majority vote to introduce the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Amendment of Article 160). Seventeen lawmakers voted in favor of the motion while 25 Senators opposed it. The bill sponsored by an MQM lawmaker sought amendment in clause (3A) of Article 160 and suggested that NFC shall take into consideration the requirements and liabilities of the Federation and all or any other Provinces and make variations accordingly at the time of computation of the share of the provinces in each award. Eighteen lawmakers participated in debate on this bill for two hours and 15 minutes.
- Two bills including the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020] (Amendment of Article 100) were deferred due to the absence of the mover.
- Two separate bills seeking amendments in Articles 106 and 198 of the Constitution of Pakistan were also deferred due to low attendance of Senators in the House at the time of consideration of these bills. Two-third majority (66 out of 104 members) is required to pass any bill seeking amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan.
- A bill – the Islamabad Court Fees Bill, 2020 – was withdrawn by its mover belonging to PPPP.
- The Chair referred two resolutions to the relevant committees after consent of their movers. These resolutions demanded to introduce uniform pay scale for all the Federal and Provincial Government employees especially from BS-1 to BS-16 and increase the pension being granted to retired and old aged workers by the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution.
- The House adopted three resolutions which demanded the federal government to utilize the maximum funds for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 pandemic and for assistance to the poor affected by the lock down, help out labourers and workers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stranded in the Gulf countries due to the COVID-19 and take steps for insurance of major crops in the country against natural calamity and disaster.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs presented reports on the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the COVID-19 (Prevention of Smuggling) Bill, 2020 which were considered and adopted by the House following motions under Rule 130 (8).
Representation and Responsiveness
- Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan concluded debate on a motion under Rule 218 which was about the need for reforms in Gilgit Baltistan.
- A motion under Rule 218 about low progress of industrialization and commercial activities in small provinces of the country was referred to the relevant committee.
- Six lawmakers discussed another motion for 39 minutes which was about commitments including the provision of annual development budget of Rs. 100 billion, made by the Government for erstwhile FATA at the time of its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs concluded debated on it and spoke for 12 minutes.
- Three lawmakers including the Leader of the House discussed the issue of locust in the country which may cause an estimated loss of Rs. 600 billion to Pakistan’s economy. They spoke on it for 12 minutes while Minister for National Food Security and Research winded up debate on it during his 14 minutes speech.
- Two other motions were deferred on the request of movers which were regarding establishment of a Constitutional Court as well as options for enhancing current setup of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and need to strengthen role of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in disaster management.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four lawmakers spoke on points of order for six minutes.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on July 15, 2020 (Wednesday) at 1600 hours.
- ‘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 proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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