Islamabad, December 14, 2017 (PPI-OT):The National Assembly on Thursday succeeded in transacting most of the regular agenda after four consecutive sittings when quorum was pointed out to adjourn proceedings of the House, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The quorum was pointed out twice even today, but it was found complete upon counting. The House passed the Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017and the Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 while the Opposition lawmakers continued their protest by staging a walk out against withdrawal of a bill regarding FATA reforms from the agenda of an earlier sitting of the same session.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during sixth sitting of the 50th session:
The National Assembly met for two hours and 36 minutes.
The sitting started at 1036 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present 40 minutes.
Fifty-six lawmakers (16%) were present at the outset and 35 (10%) at the adjournment of sitting.
The Parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, JI, AMLP, ANP, NP, APML and QWP attended the sitting.
Four minority members were present.
Tabled by Minister for Human Rights, the House passed the Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions tabled the Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was also passed by the House.
The House witnessed presentation of reports of various Standing Committees on six legislative proposals including the Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Bill, 2017; the National Skills University Islamabad Bill, 2017; the Juvenile Justice System Bill, 2017; the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Representation and Responsiveness
The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) about rapid increase in the prices of fertilizers and increase in the prices of petroleum products.
The House did not hold the Question Hour.
Order and Institutionalization
Lawmakers spoke on 10 Points of Order that consumed 34 minutes of the proceedings.
Two lawmakers spoke on as many matters other than points of order consuming 12 minutes of the proceedings.
The entire Opposition staged a walkout at 1137 hours against the withdrawal of a bill regarding FATA reforms from the agenda and did not return to the House till end of the sitting at 1312 hours. However, MQM legislators and two lawmakers – one each of PTI and PPPP – returned to the House after a short time.
An Independent lawmaker pointed out quorum twice at 1138 hours and 1156 hours, subsequently head count was made and the House was found in order.
Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
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