ISLAMABAD, February 3, 2015: Starting 37 minutes behind schedule, the third sitting of the Senate’s 110th session was adjourned due to lack of quorum following a walkout by opposition lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
Nearly half of the agenda (including two bills, an ordinance and discussion on a motion of thanks) was left unaddressed during the sitting which lasted three hours and 18 minutes.
Twenty-eight members were present at the start of the sitting and 14 at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 42 senators were present at one point of the sitting.
The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding the proposed diversion of Khunjerab-Gwadar Economic Corridor’s original route which was responded by the Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms. However, opposition lawmakers (except MQM members) expressed dissatisfaction with the minister’s response and walked out of the House at 1851 hours as a mark of protest.
Following the walkout, an ANP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1853 hours which led to the sitting’s adjournment till Wednesday.
Earlier, the entire opposition (except MQM members) had staged a two-minute walkout along with a PkMAP lawmaker who had raised the same issue through a point of order.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 18 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1537 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The Deputy Chairman presided over the entire sitting as the Chairman was absent.
- Twenty-eight members were present at the start and 14 at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 42 senators were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 12 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP and JUI-F were also present.
- Only one minority member was present in the House.
- The House observed a 34-minute prayer break during the sitting.
- Four members applied for leave.
- A report jointly prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics & Privatization; Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Resources and Standing Committee on Water & Power to highlight the main causes behind the recent petroleum crisis was presented and discussed by the finance committee’s chairperson for six minutes.
- The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Stock Exchanges (Corporatization, Demutualization and Integration) (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Ordinance 2014 were not introduced despite being on the agenda.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up 24 out of 48 starred questions during the sitting.
- The discussion on a motion of thanks regarding the President’s address to both the House of the Parliament on June 2, 2014 was left unaddressed.
- The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding the proposed diversion of Khunjerab-Gwadar Economic Corridor’s original route which was responded by the Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms.
- An ANP lawmaker’s privilege motion against an official belonging to the Ministry of Commerce was taken up during the sitting and referred to the relevant standing committee.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eleven points of order consumed 21 minutes of the proceeding’s time.
- The entire opposition (except MQM members) staged a two-minute walkout along with a PkMAP lawmaker who raised the economic corridor’s issue through a point of order.
- The opposition lawmakers (except MQM members) staged another walkout at 1851 hours to protest the minister’s unsatisfactory response to the CAN on the same issue.
- Following the walkout, an ANP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1853 hours, after which the Deputy Speaker ordered for the count but the quorum was found to be incomplete. As a result, the sitting was adjourned at 1855 hours to meet again on Wednesday.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are regretted
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