Senate Starts Debate on Finance Bill

ISLAMABAD, June 6, 2016: The Upper House on Monday started debate on the Finance Bill 2016, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Starting two minutes behind the scheduled time of 1430 hours, the sitting witnessed presence of 19 members (18%) at the start and 18 legislators (17%) at the end.

Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Senate met for three hours and 26 minutes.
  • The sitting started two minutes late against the scheduled time of 1430 hours.
  • The Chairman chaired the entire sitting while the Deputy Chairman was also present.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 129 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was not present.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, BNP-M, ANP, PML-N, PTI, MQM, PML and JI attended the sitting.
  • 19 members (18% of the total membership – 104) were present at the outset and 18 members (17%) at the end of the sitting.
  • One minority Senator attended the sitting.

Output

  • The House adopted a joint resolution to express sorrow and grief over sad demise of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
  • The House witnessed presentation of report by Standing Committee on Railways about demand No. 24 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Ten Senators expressed their views on a motion to make recommendations to National Assembly on the Finance Bill, 2016. They spoke on it for two hours and 37 minutes.
  • The House did not take up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the request of relevant ministers who did not attend the sitting. The first CAN was about 8 % increase in the prices of medicine while other notice was regarding import of whey powder and meat affecting the local industry.
  • The Chair admitted an adjournment motion (AM) for discussion which was about recent test of intercept Missile by India contributing to an unhealthy arms race in the region.
  • Earlier, an AM about protest of nurses of Nishtar Hospital, Multan was deferred due to the non-presence of the mover.
  • Another AM regarding report of the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) about more than thirteen hundred deaths of infants and children in Thar during the last thirty months was not admitted for being in contravention with rules. However, the Chair asked the sponsor of this AM to raise the issue through a motion under Rule 218. 

Order and Institutionalization 

  • Eight Points of Public Importance consumed 21 minutes of the proceeding.

Transparency

  • ‘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