ISLAMABAD, August 11, 2020: The National Assembly (NA) witnessed introduction of a Private Member’s Bill on Tuesday seeking extension in time period for scrutiny of all credentials submitted by the election candidates, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during the fourth sitting of 24th session:
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 16 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1641 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the entire proceedings.
- The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Leaders of the House (Prime Minister) and the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- One hundred and seven lawmakers (31%) were present at the outset and 95 (28%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, BAP, PPPP, GDA, JWP and MMAP attended the sitting.
- Five minority lawmakers were present.
- Moved by a PTI lawmaker, the House witnessed introduction of the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which aims to provide for the extension in time period for scrutiny of the candidature of those candidates who want to satisfy all the requirements of scrutiny relevant to different departments by proving the validity of their credentials well before. The six months’ time period is proposed in favor of such candidates who wish their nomination papers to be rejected/accepted well in time.
- Two other private members’ bills were also referred to the relevant committees after their introduction in the House. These bills were the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the National Emergency Measures to Quarantine and Quarantine Facilities for the Security of Pakistan Bill, 2020.
- The Chair deferred three bills proposing their movers for more consideration on them along with relevant government functionary. These bills were the National Commission on Rights of the Child (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Article 59).
- A bill – the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – was rejected by the House after voice voting which demanded increase in fee for election to seat in National Assembly and Provincial Assembly from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 100,00 and Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000 respectively.
- The Chair referred 12 bills to the Select Committee after consensus in the House. These bills were the Exit from Pakistan (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Banking Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Trained Paramedical Staff Facility Bill, 2019; the Federal Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the National Disaster Management (Amendment) Bill, 2018; the Islamabad Compulsory Vaccination and Protection of Health Workers Bill, 2020; the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill, 2020; the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2019 and the Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2019.
- The House did not consider 11 private members’ bills appearing on the agenda while five reports of the Standing Committees and as many resolutions as well as motions under rule 259, amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 and a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) remained unaddressed.
- Moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed a motion for consideration of government business on the Private Member’s Day after suspending rules.
- On behalf of Chairman Standing Committee on Narcotics Control, a member of the Committee presented report on the Control of Narcotics Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue presented report of the Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- On behalf of Chairman Standing Committee on Interior, a member of the Committee presented reports of the Committee on the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill, 2002 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Trust Bill, 2020.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research responded to a CAN about depriving farmers from subsidy on fertilizer and seed.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eight lawmakers spoke on points of order for 24 minutes.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on August 12, 2020 (Wednesday) at 1030 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted