42nd Session of 15th National Assembly disposed of only 24% Agenda

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  1. Key Highlights
  2. Working Hours
  3. Agenda Items Left Over
  4. Quorum
  5. Attendance
  6. Most Vocal MNAs
  7. Legislation

Key Highlights

  1. 42nd Session met for 13 sittings spread over 29 hours and 51 minutes
  2. Average time of a sitting was 2 hours and 17 minutes
  3. Longest sitting lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes and shortest sitting lasted 15 minutes
  4. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attended only 2 out of 13 sittings
  5. Quorum was pointed out in 5 out of 13 sittings and 3 sittings were adjourned due to lack of quorum
  6. 4 Government Bills and 13 Private Member’s Bills were introduced and 5 bills passed
  7. Average attendance of MNAs drastically dropped to 33.33%
  8. 76.07 % agenda items remained un-attended.

Working Hours

The 42nd session of the 15th National Assembly of Pakistan met for 13 sittings from May 9 to May 27. The sittings were held on May 9, May 10, May 11, May 12, May 13, May 16, May 17, May 20, May 23, May 24, May 25, May 26 and May 27.

The National Assembly met for 29 hours and 51 minutes with an average time of 2 hours and 17 minutes per sitting. The average delay in starting a sitting was recorded at 50 minutes per sitting.

The 42nd session of the National Assembly began on Monday, May 9 at the start of the working week and the House was called to meet at 4 pm. The first sitting, however, could only begin with a delay of 54 minutes and lasted only 2 hours and 35 minutes before it was adjourned. The next sitting held on Tuesday, May 10 was again called to meet at 4 pm at the end of the working day and started with a delay of 33 minutes and lasted 1 hour and 32 minutes before it was adjourned due to lack of quorum. The sitting held on Wednesday, May 11 was called to meet at 11:30 am, though it started with a delay of 1 hour and 1 minute and lasted for 2 hours and 43 minutes. On Thursday, May 12, the House was called to meet at 11:00 am but started with a delay of 23 minutes and lasted 3 hours and 4 minutes before it was adjourned. The next sitting held on Friday, May 13 was called to meet at 10:30 am but it started with a delay of 46 minutes and lasted only 1 hour before it was adjourned due to lack of quorum. No sitting of the National Assembly was held on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, May 16, the sitting was called to meet at 4:00 pm but could only start with a delay of 40 minutes and lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes. The next sitting on Tuesday, May 17 was again called to meet at 4:00 pm at the end of the working day but could only start with a delay of 41 minutes. The sitting lasted only 15 minutes as the shortest sitting of 42nd session by leaving 99.45% agenda items as the maximum left over agenda items during the 42nd session before it was adjourned due to lack of quorum. No sitting was held on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, May 20, the House was called to meet at 10:30 am but could only start with a delay of 28 minutes. The sitting lasted 1 hour and 58 minutes before it was adjourned. Again, no sitting was held on Saturday and Sunday and the house was called to meet at 4:00 pm on Monday, May 23 but the sitting started with a delay of 1 hour and 31 minutes. The sitting lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes before it was adjourned. The next sitting was held on Tuesday, May 24 again to meet at 4:00 pm at the end of the working day. However, it could only start after a delay of 42 minutes. This sitting lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes as the longest sitting of the 42nd session. On Wednesday, May 25, the house was again called to meet at 4:00 pm but started with a delay of 47 minutes and lasted 2 hours and 41 minutes. The next sitting on Thursday, May 26 was called to meet at 11:00 am but started with a delay of 1 hour and 13 minutes. The sitting lasted 3 hours and 53 minutes before it was adjourned. The last sitting of the session was called to meet at 11 am but started with a delay of 1 hour and 11 minutes. The session was prorogued after a sitting of only 36 minutes.

Agenda Items Left Over


76.07% agenda items on average were left over in 13 sittings of the 42nd session. 7 agenda items were left over out of 13 in the sitting held on May 9. In the sitting held on May 10, only 4 agenda items were taken up out of 186 items. On May 11, 10 out of 12 agenda items were left over. Out of 28 agenda items, 25 were left over on May 12 and the house was adjourned to meet on May 13 when only 2 agenda item were taken up. On May 16, out of 28 agenda items, only 5 (17.86%) items were left over as the minimum left over during the 42nd session. The maximum agenda items were left over on May 17 when 182 (99.45%) agenda items were left over out of 183. No business was transacted during this sitting and this was the shortest sitting of the session which lasted only 15 minutes and was adjourned due to lack of quorum. In the next sitting held on May 20, only 4 agenda items were taken up out of 23 items. 13 agenda items were left over out of 33 items in a sitting held on May 23 and the house was adjourned to meet on May 24 when 160 agenda items were left over out of 180 items. This was the longest sitting of the session and lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes before it was adjourned. On May 25, out of 17 agenda items, only 4 items were taken up. The next sitting was held on May 26 and 26 agenda items were left over out of 35 items. In the last sitting of the 42nd session, the house could only take up 1 agenda item out of 28 items and the session was prorogued after a sitting of only 36 minutes.

Quorum

In 5 (38.46%) out of 13 sittings of the National Assembly during 42nd session, quorum was pointed out and 3 (23.08%) sittings were adjourned due to lack of quorum though on average 114 (33.33%) MNAs marked attendance in the session. Attendance of 25% of total members i.e. 86 is required to keep the house in quorum. Quorum was pointed out 5 times throughout the session. On May 9, quorum was pointed out at 5:55 pm, the count was made and the House was in order. It must be noted that 118 MNAs had marked their attendance on May 9. The sitting held on May 10 was adjourned due to lack of quorum where 112 MNAs were recorded as present. The quorum was pointed out at 6pm, the count was made and the House was not in order and the sitting was adjourned due to lack of quorum where only 92 MNAs were recorded as present. On May 17, quorum was pointed out at 4:52pm. The count was made and the House was not in order. Therefore, the sitting was adjourned where only 76 MNAs were recorded as present. The quorum was also pointed out at 5:39 pm in a sitting held on May 23. The count was made, the House was not in order and Speaker suspended the proceedings of the House till the completion of the quorum. At 5:59 pm, the count was again made and the House was found in order.

Attendance

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, MNA, Prime Minister of Pakistan, attended only 2 out of 13 sittings on May 9 and May 26 while Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz Ahmad, MNA attended 3 sittings out of 5 held on May 23, May 24 and May 26. He was appointed as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly on May 20. On the average, 114 or 33.33% MNAs marked their attendance during the 42nd session.

Most Vocal MNAs

Dr. Fehmida Mirza, MNA, (NA-230 Badin-II, Sindh, GDA) was the most vocal MNA during the 42nd session with a recorded talk time of 1 hour and 34 minutes. Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, MNA (NA-1 Chitral-I, KP, MMAP) spoke for 1 hour and 5 minutes during the session, followed by Mr. Noor Alam Khan, MNA (NA-27 Peshawar-I, KP, PTI) who spoke for 39 minutes during the session. Mr. Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, MNA (NA-199 Shikarpur-II, Sindh, GDA) spoke for 35 minutes and Mr. Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, MNA (NA-89 Sargodha-II, Punjab, PML-N), spoke for 26 minutes.

Legislation

 


5 bills were passed by the National Assembly in the sittings held on May 20, May 23, May 24 and May 26 including the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 omitted the insertion made through the Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 which had mandated that seat of a returned candidate shall become vacant if oath is not taken within 60 days from the date of first sitting of a legislature or within 40 days after the commencement of the Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, which was published in official gazette on September 3, 2021.

The bill also amended section 94 regarding facilitation of right of overseas Pakistanis from their countries of residence and reverted almost to the language of the Elections Act, 2017 authorizing the Election Commission to conduct pilot projects for voting by Overseas Pakistanis in bye-elections to ascertain the technical efficacy, secrecy, security and financial feasibility of such voting and to share results with the Government who will lay the report before Parliament. The Elections (Second Amendment) Act, 2021 passed by the Parliament on November 17, 2021 had mandated the ECP to work with the technical assistance of NADRA or any other Authority to enable overseas Pakistanis, in prescribed manner, subject to secrecy and security, exercise their right to vote during general elections in Pakistan.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 also amended Section 103 regarding the use of electronic voting machines and reverted the wording of the text almost to the Elections Act, 2017 which had mandated the ECP to conduct pilot projects for utilization of electronic voting machines and biometric verification system in bye-elections in addition to the existing manual procedures for voter verification, casting and counting of votes to assess the technical efficacy, secrecy, security and financial feasibility of the EVMs and biometric verification system and report to the Government who will lay findings to the Parliament. The Elections (Second Amendment) Act, 2021 had amended the earlier wordings of Section 103 given in the Elections Act, 2017 by mandating the ECP to procure and use EVMs in general elections in Pakistan in a prescribed manner, subject to secrecy and security.

In addition to providing exemptions to certain holders of public office, a mechanism for establishment of accountability courts and judges and their removal in order to curb delays in the trial procedure, recording of evidence through electronic audio-video devices and video-link and trial courts given the power to grant bail, the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 says that upon completion of the non-extendable term of 3 years of the chair of NAB, deputy chair will continue in office until the appointment of the new chair.

Other 3 bills passed during the session included the following:

  1. The Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  2. The Pakistan Global Institute Act, 2022
  3. The International Institute of Science, Arts and Technology Bill, 2022

Two (2) ordinances were laid during the session on May 9 and May 23. These included:

  1. The General Statistics (Re-Organization) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 (Ordinance No. III of 2022)
  2. The Election (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 (Ord. No. 1 of 2022). The ordinance promulgated on February 21, 2022 by the outgoing PTI government removed the bar on elected legislators from visiting or addressing public meetings in constituencies during election campaign. However, it was laid in the National Assembly on May 23, 2022 by Mr. Murtaza Javed Abbasi, MNA and Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, supporting the amendment in the Elections Act, 2017 based on ‘persistent demand of elected representatives as well as overwhelming number of voters.’

No Ordinance was extended during the session.