4 out of 19 sittings adjourned due to lack of quorum (which means less than 25% members present) though on average 63 or 63% Senators marked attendance in the session
In 19 sittings held during 317th session, Senate met for a total of 47 hours and 56 minutes with an average time of 2 hour and 31 minutes per sitting; Longest sitting lasted 4 hours and 10 minutes and shortest sitting lasted only 10 minutes
Sittings started with an average delay of 5 minutes per sitting
Four (4) Ordinances were laid while no Ordinance was extended during 317th session
Fifteen (15) Bills were passed including highly contentious the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022 amid protest by the Opposition
The 317th session of the Senate began on Tuesday, January 4 at 4 pm and was prorogued after 45 days on Thursday, February 17, 2022. Even a cursory look at the schedule of sittings during the session makes it clear that the Senate had no substantive business to transact and an effort was being made to fulfil the formality of meeting for the minimum constitutionally required 110 days during a parliamentary year. Since a break of two days is also counted towards the meeting days, the Senate had been meeting for a day or two and then going for a break for 2 days. In general, the Senate met for 3 days in a week while all 7 days of the week were counted towards its tally of meeting days. During the 45 days long session, the house actually met for just 19 days which translates into 42% of the total days counted towards meeting days on paper . Needless to mention that honourable senators are paid their daily allowance for all the days counted towards the meeting days. The schedule of the sittings during the session is given in Appendix A.
The Session met for 47 hours and 56 minutes with an average time of 2 hours and 31 minutes per sitting. If we divide the total working hours over the entire 30 days counted towards meeting days, the average number of working hours per day turn out to be just an hour.
The Senate continued its tradition of punctuality and the average delay of in starting a sitting was just 5 minutes during the session.
Agenda Items Left Over
Despite the fact that so much spare time was available during the session, 27.43% agenda items on average were left over in 19 sittings held during 317th session. On the average, the Senate could dispose off 72.57% of its agenda items during the session. During the 19 sittings of the session, maximum agenda items disposed off were 100% on January 7, January 11, January 18, February 4 and February 14 while the maximum agenda items left over were 88.89% on January 14. The details of the Agenda Items Left Over are given in Appendix B.
In 5 (26.32%) out of 19 sittings of the Senate session, quorum was pointed out and 4 (21.05%) sittings were adjourned though on average 63 (63%) Senators marked attendance in the session. Quorum was pointed out 6 times throughout the session. On January 4, quorum was pointed out twice. When the first time quorum was pointed out, the House was not found to be in order. The bells were rung for 5 minutes and the house was later found to be in order when the count was made again.
The quorum was pointed out the second time and the House was not found in order. The proceedings were, therefore, adjourned. It must be noted that 69 Senators had marked their attendance on January 4. The required quorum is 25 but even this number was not present in the house when count was made.
The sitting held on January 11 was also adjourned due to lack of quorum whereas 73 Senators had recorded their presence. Similarly the sitting held on January 14 was adjourned due to lack of quorum where 43 Senators were recorded as present. The fourth sitting which was adjourned due to lack of quorum was held on February 7 where 61 Senators marked their attendance.
Average attendance of Senators during 317th session was recorded at 63% (63 Senators present per sitting on the average).
Top 5 Vocal Senators
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed (KP, JIP) was the most vocal Senator during 317th session with a recorded talk time of 2 hours and 41 minutes. Leader of the House in the Senate, Senator Dr. Shahzad Waseem (Punjab, PTI) spoke for 2 hours and 18 minutes, followed by Senator Sherry Rehman (Sindh, PPPP) who spoke for 1 hour and 52 minutes during the session. Senator Faisal Javed (KP, PTI) spoke for 1 hour and 28 minutes while Senator Mian Raza Rabbani (Sindh, PPPP) spoke for 1 hour and 14 minutes.
15 bills were passed by the Senate during 317th session including the highly contentious State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which the opposition termed as a surrender to IMF.
43 votes were polled in favor while the same number opposed it when the leave of the house was sought to present the bill in the house. After the tie, the Senate Chairman voted in favor of the motion and the bill was moved for consideration in the House.
The bill was passed by a margin of only 1 vote and the amendments proposed by the opposition were rejected. 43 Senators voted in favour of the bill while 42 opposed.
The Senate also gave its recommendations on the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2022 amidst protest from the opposition which protested that the bill would further fuel already high inflation in Pakistan.
The list of the Bills passed during the session is given in Appendix C.
Government introduced 7 bills while Private Members introduced 27 bills during the session.
No Ordinance was extended during the session while Four (4) Ordinances were laid in the House during the session, two (2) of which were laid on Tuesday, January 18 while 2 ordinances were laid on Friday, January 21. The list of the ordinances laid is given in Appendix D.