Elections / Appointments

Senate Takes up Entire Agenda, Refers Eight Bills to Committees

Islamabad, September 02, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Senate transacted its entire agenda on Monday and referred eight private members’ bills to relevant committees for consideration, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Following are key observations of the House proceedings during the third sitting of 293rd session:

Members’ Participation

The House met for four hours and 25 minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for 13 minutes due to prayer break.

The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.

The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.

The Deputy Chairman was not present.

The Leaders of the House attended the entire sitting for four hours and three minutes.

The Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and nine minutes.

The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.

As many as 14 lawmakers (13%) were present at the outset and 21 (20%) at the adjournment of the sitting.

The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, JI, PkMAP, BNP-M and PTI attended the sitting.

Two out of four minority lawmakers were also present.

Output

Moved by a PPPP lawmaker, the House passed the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Eight private members’ bills were introduced in the House which were the Trade Organizations (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendments of Articles 1, 51, 59, 106, 175A, 198 and 218); the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Islamabad Pure Food Authority Bill, 2019; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment of Articles 51 and 106); the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Insertion of Article 253 A).

An MQM lawmaker withdrew the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Insertion of new section 79A) after being opposed by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.

Two other bills including the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment of Article 45) and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment of Articles 1, 51, 59, 106, 154, 175 A, 198 and 218) were deferred. Another private members’ bill – the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – transmitted by the National Assembly was also deferred.

The House passed three resolutions to complete the Kacchi Canal Project in Balochistan, include subject of road safety awareness in the curriculum of educational institutions in Islamabad and upgrade Cricket Stadium of Abbottabad.

Two other resolutions demanding the government to resolve issue of traffic jams in Islamabad by widening roads and withdraw 200% increase in gas tariff for domestic consumers were dropped due to absence of their movers.

A resolution to shift the headquarter of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) from Lahore to Islamabad was withdrawn by its mover. Nine lawmakers including the Leader of the House spoke in it for 24 minutes.

The House passed a motion under Rule 194 (1) to grant extension of 60 working days to Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs for presentation of report on a starred question regarding core responsibilities and jurisdiction of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA).

Four other motions under Rule 194 (1) were also passed following which extension of 60 working days was granted to Standing Committee on Law and Justice for presentation of its reports on three Constitution Bills seeking amendments in Article 27, Article 260, fourth schedule and on a point of public importance about sit in of the employees of the State Life Insurance Corporation.

Moved by a PPPP lawmaker, the House passed a motion under Rule 126 (7) for consideration of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in joint sitting. The bill was transmitted to the National Assembly after approval from Senate but was not passed within ninety days of its laying there.

Representation and Responsiveness

A commenced motion under Rule 218 regarding present situation of Pakistan’s Economy was dropped due to mover’s absence.

Another motion regarding austerity measures being taken in PIA was deferred on the request of relevant minister.

The House discussed motion under Rule 218 regarding importance of creating structured linkages between the Members of Senate and their constituents, i.e. the Provincial Assemblies, in order to safeguard and protect the rights and interests of the Federating Units. Five lawmakers debated it for 15 minutes while the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs concluded debate on it during his four minutes speech.

Four lawmakers discussed a motion for 17 minutes which was regarding non-establishment of tourist resorts in the coastal areas of Balochistan and Hangool National park. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs gave statement on it for four minutes.

A motion regarding the syllabus for the Central Superior Services (CSS) examination was referred to the relevant committee. Earlier, three lawmakers spoke on it for 11 minutes.

Three lawmakers discussed another motion about food insecurity in the country with particular reference to Balochistan. The Minister for National Food Security and Research gave a statement on it and spoke for six minutes.

Order and Institutionalization

Nine lawmakers spoke on points of order regarding detention of political leadership and non-provision of medical facilities to them.

A PPPP and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs spoke on points of public importance for five minutes.

The House was adjourned to meet again on September 3, 2019 (Tuesday) at 1530 hours.

Transparency

‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.

The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.

For more information, contact:
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