ISLAMABAD, December 21, 2012: Starting an hour and four minutes late, the 7th and the last sitting of the 88th session of Senate was marked by low attendance as only six senators were present at the outset and 21 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill was laid before the house for making recommendations to the National Assembly. A motion under rule 60 for discussion regarding eligibility of the Pakistani citizens having dual nationality for appointment in the judiciary was also taken up. Furthermore, five reports of the Council of Islamic Ideology were presented.
The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The parliamentary leaders of MQM, PML, BNPA, NP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and 50 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1104 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and four minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP and JUIF attended the sitting while those of MQM, PML, BNPA, NP and PMLF were not present.
- Only six senators were present at the start while 21 were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 32 senators were observed to be present at one point of sitting.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
- One of four minority senators attended the sitting.
- Ten senators applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only three of 11 starred questions (requiring oral replies) appearing on the orders of the day were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, nine supplementary questions were asked.
- A calling attention notice (CAN) on the orders of the day was taken up. It was about the failure of government to devise a formula for CNG prices as per directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; resulting in non-provision of CNG to transport sector as well as discrepancy in the prices and volume of gas to different sectors.
- A motion under rule 60 – for discussion regarding eligibility of the Pakistani citizens having dual nationality for appointment in the judiciary – appeared on the agenda and taken up.
- The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2012 was laid before the house for making recommendations to the National Assembly.
- Five reports of the Council of Islamic Ideology were also presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three points of order were raised which consumed five minutes of the sitting time.
- Orders of the day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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