Free and Fair Election Network Daily Factsheet: Sitting No. 10: Session No. 36 of the National Assembly Low MNAs Attendance Remains an Issue in Last Sitting
Islamabad: The National Assembly passed the two Bills which appeared on the Orders of the Day during the last sitting of the 36th session. Spread over two hours and five minutes, the last sitting was also marked by low attendance of Members, with only 27 Legislators present at the outset, and 58 present when the session prorogued.
The PMLN’s boycott continued over the memo gate and the shortage of urea fertilizer in the country. However, the treasury responded to the Calling Attention Notice sponsored by PMLN Members.
The House did not debate the Adjournment Motion regarding the deteriorating condition of Pakistan Railways as the Members raised a total of 18 Points of Order. None of these Points of Order attracted the Chairs’ formal ruling.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 75 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was not present. Only the parliamentary leaders of the NPP and PPPS attended the proceedings.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
The National Assembly met for two hours and five minutes.
The last sitting started at 1035 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started late by 35 minutes.
The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting, while the Speaker was not present during the proceedings.
The Prime Minister was present for 75 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
The Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the MQM, BNPA, MMAP, ANP, PML and PMLF were absent.
The Chief Whips of PML, MQM, MMAP and PPPP were present, while those of the ANP, PMLN and PMLF were absent.
A total of 27 (8%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 58 (17%) Members at the end of the sitting.
A total of 17 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
Seven 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 PMLN Members, three females and two males, the CAN was regarding “increasing use of Narcotics and involvement of drug addicts in this crime”, which was directed to Ministry of Narcotics Control.
A total of 31 questions were listed to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only seven questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
A total of 19 supplementary questions were raised in the House during the sitting.
The National Assembly passed the two Bills (the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill 2011 and the Petroleum Products (Petroleum Levy) (Amendment) Bill 2011), which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Order and institutionalization
A total of 18 Points of Order were raised, consuming 32 minutes (26% of sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The House did not debate the Motion under Rule about shortage of urea and the Adjournment Motion of Railways.
The PMLN continued their boycott over the memo gate and the shortage of urea fertilizer in the country.
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.
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