ISLAMABAD, December 29, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 37 minutes during the seventh sitting of the 37th session. Only the parliamentary leaders of the ANP, PPPS and NPP attended the proceedings.
Members’ low attendance persisted as only 43 Legislators were present at the start and 54 when the sitting was adjourned.
The National Assembly left most of the agenda items on the Orders of the Day unaddressed. Out of the 38 items on the agenda, a Calling Attention Notice was taken up and the Question Hour was held. The House did not take up 13 Private Members’ Bills, five Motions under Rule 259, five Resolutions and one Matter of Public Importance about the energy crisis in the country.
Eleven Points of Order consumed 52% of the total time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The PMLN walked out of the House in protest against loadshedding of gas and electricity. The walkout lasted 29 minutes.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 37 minutes.
- The seventh sitting started at 1744 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The proceedings started late by 44 minutes.
- The sitting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker. The Speaker was not present.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the proceedings, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 56 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the ANP, NNP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of MQM, BNPA, MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM and ANP were present, while those of the MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 43 (13%) Members were present at the outset and 54 (16%) at the end of the sitting.
- Thirty-six Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Six out of 10 minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up one out of two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day
- Moved by five PPPP Members – three females and two males – the CAN was about “illegal slaughter house in Islamabad creating environment hazards”, which was directed to the Ministry of Interior.
- Out of the 30 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only 10 were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- Twelve supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- Thirteen Private Members’ Bills on the Orders of the Day were not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- Eleven Points of Order consumed 81 minutes (52% of total sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- None of the five Motions under Rule 259 were taken up.
- Five Resolutions on the Orders of the Day were not taken up by the House.
- The Matter of Public Importance regarding the energy crisis in Pakistan was also not taken up.
- The PMLN walked out to protest against loadshedding of gas and electricity. The walkout lasted 29 minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of Quorum was not pointed out by any of the Members.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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