ISLAMABAD, February 3, 2020: The Senate rejected three motions seeking leave to introduce private members’ bills regarding increase in the salaries of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly and Members of the Parliament, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Monday.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during 17th sitting of the 295th session:
- The House met for four hours and 13 minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for nine minutes due to prayer break.
- The sitting started at its scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and nine minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 52 minutes.
- Twenty-nine lawmakers (28%) were present at the outset and 16 (15%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, MQM, PTI, PML-N, PPPP, PkMAP, JUI-F and JI attended the sitting.
- Three out of four minority lawmakers were present.
- The House rejected a motion with majority vote seeking leave for introduction of the Chairman and Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Sixteen lawmakers voted in favor of the motion and 29 opposed it. The bill was jointly sponsored by a PML-N, an NP and four Independent lawmakers including Chief Whip. Earlier, 29 lawmakers including Ministers for Parliamentary Affairs and Interior expressed their views on this bill.
- Two other motions seeking leave for introduction of the Deputy Chairman and Deputy Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Members of Parliament (Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were also rejected after voice voting.
- A bill – the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – was deferred on the mover’s request.
- Another bill seeking amendment in Article 198 of the Constitution was also deferred till next private member’s day.
- A bill –the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (Amendment of Article 260) – was withdrawn by the mover after passage of a motion under Rule 115.
- Tabled by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Bill, 2020 while the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was again referred to the relevant committee for further consideration.
- The House adopted three resolutions which demanded to take immediate steps for prevention of epidemic infectious diseases in Islamabad, formulate a comprehensive policy to address the issues of inflation as well as unemployment and open the Custom gateway at Chaman border round the clock to increase the magnitude of trade with Afghanistan
- A resolution about introducing a Group Insurance Scheme for government employees was deferred and the Chair directed the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to discuss it further with the mover.
- Another resolution about ensuring media freedom and lift bans on media coverage of different political leaders by PEMRA was dropped due to mover’s absence at the time of its consideration.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three motions under Rule 218 were deferred which were regarding construction of Sindh Barrage on River Indus, progress on the project of Diamir Bhasha Dam and WHO report on rise of polio cases in Pakistan.
- Sponsored by a JI lawmaker, the House debated a motion under Rule 218 regarding incidents of kidnapping and abuse of children in the Islamabad. The mover and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs discussed it for four minutes.
- A motion about problems being faced by the residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the recent earthquake was dropped due to the mover’s absence.
- Five lawmakers discussed a motion for 17 minutes which was about the project of Federal Government for plantation of 10 billion trees. Minister of State for Climate Change concluded debate on this motion and spoke for 13 minutes.
- Minister for Parliamentary Affairs winded up debate on motion about need for allocation of separate funds by each Ministry for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Earlier, three lawmakers spoke on it for five minutes.
- Seven lawmakers spoke on points of public importance for 12 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- The Leader of the House spoke on a point of order for one minute and demanded the Chair to give equal time to all Senators for discussion on legislative proposal.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on February 4, 2020 (Tuesday) at 1500 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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