Low Attendance 7th Sitting Continues Debate on Budget


Islamabad: The National Assembly met for two hours and 51 minutes during the 7th sitting of the ongoing budget session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 32 Members present at the outset of the sitting, while 24 were present when the sitting was adjourned.

The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but it was not pointed out by any the Members.

The Members continued to debate on the budgetary proposals, and 90% of seventh sitting time was taken up by the general debate. A total of 13 Members – five each of the PPPP and PMLN, one each of the MQM and PML, and one Independent Member – spoke on the budgetary proposals for two hours and 34 minutes.

The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

The National Assembly met for two hours and 51 minutes.

The seventh sitting started at 1054 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 54 minutes.

The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 49 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present during the course of the sitting.

The Parliamentary leaders of the NPP and PPPS were present during the sitting, while those of the MMAP, PML, MQM, ANP and PMLF did not attend the sitting.

The Chief Whips of the PML, MMAP, MQM, ANP and PMLF remained absent, while those of the PPPP, PMLN and BNPA were present.

A total of 32 (9%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 24 (7%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 105 (31%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.

The Finance Minister was not present during the sitting.

A total of 10 Members appealed for the leave to be absent from the proceedings of the seventh sitting.

A total of seven out of 10 minority Members were present during the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House did not take up any of the CANs.

A total of 13 Members took part in the debate on the budgetary proposals. These included five Members each of the PPPP and PMLN, and one Member each of the MQM and PML. An Independent Member also spoke on the budget.

Order and Institutionalization

There was no Adjournment Motion raised during the course of the sitting.

There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.

The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but it was not pointed out by any the Members.

Transparency

Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.

Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.

The copies of the budgetary proposals were available to the concerned.

For more information, contact:
Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN)
FAFEN Representative
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