Senate Withdraws Bills from Interior Committee due to Inordinate Delay in Reports

The House of Federation exercises the option for the first time; adopts four resolutions

ISLAMABAD, December 18, 2017: The Senate on Monday adopted four resolutions and suspended its proceedings to consider two private member’s bills for the first time after converting itself into Committee of the Whole as these bills were delayed and not reported back by the committee of Interior, says Free and Fair Election Network.

Under Sub-rule 3 of Rule 166 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, two bills including the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of section 364A) and the  Islamabad Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016 were considered withdrawn from the standing committee.

This rule says, “If a Committee does not present its report within the period prescribed, or the time allowed, the Bill, subject or matter referred to it may be considered by the Senate, without waiting for the report, upon a motion by any member or by the Minister concerned and such Bill, subject or matter shall be treated as withdrawn from the Committee”.

The House observed one minute silence to express solidarity with the victims of a terrorist attack at Church in Quetta.

Following are the key observations of the proceedings during sixth sitting of the 271st session.

  Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for four hours and 23 minutes. The sitting remained suspended for 56 minutes due to meeting of Committee of the Whole and for 16 minutes owing prayer break.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
  • The Deputy Chairman was also present.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 32 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition was not present.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, PkMAP, PML, PTI, PPPP, ANP, JI, MQM and PML-N attended the sitting.
  • As many as 13 lawmakers (12% of the total membership- 104) were present at the outset and 16 (15%) at the end of sitting.
  • Two minority Senators attended the sitting.


  • The House adopted four resolutions to lay all international treaties before Parliament, facilitate all those persons who left Pakistan at the time of partition, demand payment of compensation from the US Government due to drone attacks inside Pakistan since 2000 and impose ban on sale of the carbonated and energy drinks in all federal educational institutions and cantonment areas.
  • The Chair deferred two resolutions to control the lowering of Water Table and opening federal educational institutions for at least half day on various public holidays to make the students understand the importance of these days.
  • A resolution regarding increase in the age limit for appointment of women in the Government sector upto 35 years was dropped due to mover’s absence.
  • The House rejected a resolution to introduce unified pay scales for all Federal Government employees.
  • The Chair referred three private members’ bills to the relevant committees for further consideration which were the Police (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017] (Amendment of Article 51) and the Area Study Centres (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Chair, after consent of the mover, referred the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to the Council of Islamic Ideology with request to submit report on it at earliest.
  • Two other bills including the Islamabad Restriction on Employment of Children Bill, 2017 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017] (Amendment of Article 228) were referred to the Select Committee.
  • PTI lawmaker withdrew its two bills on the recommendation of Committee of the Whole. These bills were the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of section 364A) and the Islamabad Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • The Chair informed the House that the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health (Amendment) Bill, 2017 had been received back from the Standing Committee and was awaiting notice under Rule 100 for its consideration in the House.
  • Chairman, Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry presented report on the Pakistan Tobacco Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • Chairperson, Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training presented report on the Apprenticeship Bill, 2017.
  • On behalf of Chairperson Functional Committee on Human Rights, a member of the Committee presented reports on the National Commission on the Status of Women (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and a starred question regarding launching of helpline by the Human Rights Division for legal advice on Human Rights violations.

Representation and Responsiveness 

  • Eight lawmakers debated a motion under Rule 218 for 36 minutes which was regarding unviable industrial sector. State Minister for Industries and Production responded it in one minute but the Chair directed for detailed response on it during next session.
  • Ten Senators debated another motion about Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for 31 minutes. Minister for Power concluded debate on it during his 12 minutes speech.
  • Three lawmakers discussed role of CCI in promoting harmony and building confidence between federation and federating units for eight minutes. Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination winded up debate on it during four minutes.
  • Three other motions under Rule 218 about continuous violation of Line of Control, need to revoke the Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992 and establishment of coal based power plants were deferred.
  • Another motion about government policy to ensure food security was dropped due to mover’s absence.
  • The House took up a Calling Attention Notice regarding issue of subsidy to sugarcane growers and it was responded to by Minister for National Food Security and Research. However, the Chair directed to also issue notice to Ministry of Commerce for reply on it.
  • Minister for Climate Change responded to a point of public importance about measures to overcome pollution and smog while State Minister for Interior responded to another point regarding directions to 21 INGOs to close their offices.
  • The ministerial response on four other points of public importance was deferred.


  • 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