Lack of quorum haunts NA proceedings again

* PPP lawmakers stage walkout against speaker for not allowing them to speak

Lack of quorum haunts NA  proceedings again

ISLAMABAD: The third sitting of the National Assembly also witnessed a lack of interest of lawmakers and had to be adjourned due to a missing quorum on Wednesday.

It was the second time that the sitting had to be adjourned due to a lack of quorum.

According to statistics, the National Assembly met for two hours and 47 minutes of which the proceedings remained suspended for 17 minutes. The sitting started at 10:35am against the scheduled time of 10:30am. The speaker presided over the sitting for 37 minutes while the rest of the proceedings were presided over by the deputy speaker.

The leader of the House (prime minister) did not attend the sitting while the leader of the opposition was present for 56 minutes. Forty-eight lawmakers (14%) were present at the outset and 66 (19%) at the adjournment of sitting. The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, APML, JI, PPPP, QWP-S, BNP-A and ANP attended the sitting. Four minority members were present.

The House passed the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill, 2017, amid protest from the opposition. The House witnessed an introduction of the Service Tribunals (Amendment) Bill, 2017, while the Auditor-General's (Functions, Powers and Terms and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was deferred on the request of the opposition leader.

A bill of the Rights of Access to Information Bill, 2017 was taken up by the House but could not be passed due to early adjournment of sitting. The House did not take up a motion under Rule 259 and a motion of thanks about the presidential address.

The House took up a calling-attention notice (CAN) regarding long hours of unscheduled power outages in various parts of Sindh.

Another CAN about non-upgradation of the posts of superintendents and assistants in BS-17 and BS-16, respectively, was disposed of due to movers' absence. Five out of 43 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Lawmakers spoke on two points of order that consumed 10 minutes of the proceedings. The entire opposition walked out of the House for five minutes over unsatisfactory reply to a question related to the Energy Department.

The lawmakers belonging to the PPPP staged a walkout at 13:18 hours against the attitude of the chair who did not allow one of the lawmakers to speak on a bill. They did not return to the House till adjournment of the sitting.

The sitting remained his chamber for not providing replies to two questions related to his department. 



Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2017.