ISLAMABAD, August 11, 2015: Seventh sitting of the Senate’s ongoing 118th session witnessed the passage of two bills amid low attendance of lawmakers on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started at 1533 hours against the scheduled time of 1530 hours with 10 (9%) lawmakers present at the start and 38 (37%) at the time of adjournment. Two bills passed by the House included the Cantonments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
Tabled by Minister for Ports and Shipping, the House also adopted a resolution to express complete solidarity with religious minorities and protect their rights on the occasion of Minorities’ Day.
The House took up two Calling Attention notices (CANs) regarding supply of low voltage electricity in Swabi and difficulties being faced by the passengers travelling to India via Wagah border.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 49 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1533 hours against the scheduled time of 1530 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting for two hours and 48 minutes while remaining proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader and the Prime Minister were not present.
- Ten senators (9%) were present at the start and 38 (37%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 52 Senators (50%) attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, BNP-M, MQM, PPPP and PML-F were present.
- Two minority members were present.
- Five members applied for leave.
- The House passed the Cantonments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
- Introduced by Minister for Defense, the House referred the National University of Medical Sciences Bill, 2015 to relevant committee for further consideration.
- Tabled by Minister for Ports and Shipping, the House also adopted a resolution to express complete solidarity with religious minorities and protect their rights on the occasion of Minorities’ Day.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding supply of low voltage electricity in the Swabi and difficulties being faced by the passengers traveling to India via Wagah border.
- Three Adjournment Motions (AMs) and a CAN were clubbed related to the loss of lives and properties due to recent devastating flood across the country. The Chair admitted these AMs for discussion in the next sitting.
- Two PPPP lawmakers discussed an AM for 13 minutes which was about the distribution formula of NFC Award and report on 2nd Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award (January-June, 2014). However, the Chair took notice of absence of Federal Secretaries for Finance and Inter-Provincial Coordination during the debate and referred the issue to the privilege committee.
- Four other AMs on the agenda were not taken up.
- Twelve out of 23 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised 30 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised 13 Points of Order that consumed 82 minutes (36%) of the sitting time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and public.
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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 excepted.
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