ISLAMABAD, November 11, 2015: The Senate took up its entire business on Orders of the Day during the 8th sitting of its ongoing 121st session, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Wednesday.
The sitting started five minutes behind the scheduled time with 13 legislators (12%) present at the start and 26 (25%) at the time of adjournment.
Some key observations are as follows:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for four hours and 12 minutes
- The sitting started five minutes late against the scheduled time of 1000 hours
- Chairman presided over the entire sitting
- The Deputy Chairman was not present
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and 57 minutes
- The Opposition Leader was present for three hours and 25 minutes
- Prime Minister did not attend the sitting
- Thirteen (12%) senators were present at the start and 26 (25%) at the time of adjournment
- Parliamentary leaders of JUI-F, PkMAP, MQM, BNP-M, JI, PML-F, ANP, PTI, PML, NP and PML-N were present
- One minority member was present
- Chairman, Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights, presented the report of the Committee regarding the Working Women (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2015. He informed the House that the mover, PTI female lawmaker from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has withdrawn this bill after assurance of the government to address the issue at earliest.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs). First CAN was regarding the sale of Jinnah House in Washington D.C while other was about suspension of survey in Kaghan valley to assess damages caused by recent earthquake.
- Thirteen out of 26 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while the Senators also raised 39 supplementary questions.
- The Chair admitted an Adjournment Motion (AM) for discussion after approval of the House. The AM was about accumulation of total debt over Rs.3.81 trillion which, subject to approval of the latest tranche by the IMF Board, will increase to 68 billion dollars by the end of the fiscal year and Pakistan will need 6.7 billion dollars this year for external debt servicing.
- Following motion under Rule 196 (1), the House adopted report on an AM about proposed conversion of 1400 acre land of National Agricultural Research Centre by the CDA into residential / commercial plots. The motion was discussed by four lawmakers including one each of PML-F, PML, PML-N and PPPP. The Chair directed the Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research to present its report on this specific issue in the House every month.
- Following motion under Rule 157 (2), the House concluded debate on the Annual Report on the Observance and Implementation of the Principles of Policy with regards to the affairs of the Federation for the year 2012-2013. Fourteen lawmakers – PML-N (5), PPPP (4), PML, PML-F, NP, PkMAP, JI (one each) – participate in debate for 68 minutes.
- The agenda items about discussion on sustainable development goals and negotiation plan for Paris summit on Climate Change were clubbed and were debated by the House for 67 minutes. Twelve lawmakers including three from PPPP followed by PML-N and PTI (2 each), one each of PML, MQM BNP-M, PkMAP, JI and Chairman spoke on it.
- Out of ten privilege motions on the agenda, five were withdrawn; four were deferred while one was referred to the relevant committee.
- Leader of the House presented the report regarding torture on a female Christian student in Faisalabad.
Order and Institutionalization
- No point of public importance was raised during the sitting
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public
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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.
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