ISLAMABAD - Like the previous three years of its tenure, the ruling PML-N government did not allow opposition members to pass even a single private bill in the year 2016.

The incumbent government, with its numerical strength in the lower house, did not create adequate space for opposition parties to make legislation through private bills.

Major opposition parties could only manage to introduce 49 private members’ bills from January to December-2016 in the National Assembly.

If the trend continues, the pending private members’ bills, like the previous three years, may also face the same fate in the coming years, an exceptional manifestation in the parliamentary history of the country. A private member bill is a piece of legislation that any member or a group of members of the house formulates on any issue of public importance.

The government, with its two-thirds majority, passed 58 bills while facing much trouble to pass some of the bills due to the quorum issue. The government, along with its allied party, JUI-F, faced the lack of quorum issue almost at every session.

The government passed “The Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill, 2016” in its fourth attempt after it was blocked thrice by the opposition due to the lack of strength from the government side.

The parliament data available with The Nation shows that not even a single bill was allowed to be passed during the last years.

“A total of 49 private members’ bills were introduced in the National Assembly, but none of them was passed during three and a half years (by the end of  2016),” according to a data compiled by Fafen.

Of the 49 private bills, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) introduced 25 bills, 50 percent of total private bills in 2016), followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (three), Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (five), the JUI-F (four), three each by Jamaat-e-Islami and PML-N and one by Qaumi Watan Party.

These private bills, including ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 92)’, ‘The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The National Conflict of Interests Bill, 2016’, ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 11)’, ‘The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016, (Amendment of Article 11)’, ‘The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) (Amendment) Bill,’ 2016 and others could not be passed.

The government side, however, managed passage of 58 bills, including  ‘The Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Islamabad Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal Bill, 2015’, ‘The Federal Judicial Academy (Amendment) Bill, 2015, The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Income Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Income Tax (Third Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Banks (Nationalisation Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Equity Participation Fund (Repeal) Bill,’ ‘The Offences in Respect of Banks (Special Courts) (Amendment) Bill,” ‘The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill’, ‘The Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Conversion) Bill, 2015’, ‘The National University of Sciences and Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2015’, ‘The Publication of Laws of Pakistan Bill, 2016, The Market Bill, 2016’, ‘The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Corporate Restructuring Companies Bill, 2015’, ‘The Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, 2015’, ‘The Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2015’, ‘The Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill’, ‘The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The State Life Insurance Corporation (Re-organization and Conversion) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Credit Bureaus (Amendment) Bill, 2016, ‘The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ ‘The Electoral Rolls (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Constitution (22nd Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015,’The Banks (Nationalisation) (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, The Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, 2016,’ ‘The Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’‘ The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2016,’,The Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ ‘The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Members, Election Commission (Salary, Allowances, Perks and Privileges) Bill, 2016,’ The National Command Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill, 2016,’ The Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016,’ The Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Civil Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2016,’ The Companies (Appointment of Legal Advisers) (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ The Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Bill, 2016,’ The Pakistan National Accreditation Council Bill, 2016,’ The Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Bill, 2016,’ The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016,’ and The Public-Private Partnership Authority Bill, 2016’.