ISLAMABAD -  The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) may consider the lawmakers’ attendance in the National Assembly as a yardstick to award them party tickets to contest 2018 elections.

The PML-N government, despite having a two-thirds majority in the lower house, had to face much embarrassment, especially in the last six months, due to the absenteeism of treasury lawmakers, to go for several legislations.

The government’s side in the previous National Assembly session (37th session) thrice failed to get the “Commission of Inquiry Bill, 2016” due to the lack of quorum in the house.

Interestingly, the government side after failing to get the bill passed even extended the last session (against the decision of business advisory committee) for one more day to pass it on their numerical strength.

The one-day expenditure for running the National Assembly (NA) session costs millions of rupees.

The poor attendance of PML-N legislators may put them in hot water in getting the party ticket for the next general elections. “The party’s bigwigs with the consultation of the leadership would also check the attendance and participation of the MNAs in parliament,” sources in the PML-N confided to The Nation.

During the current session, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab and Minister for Law Zahid Hamid had to face many difficulties to maintain the quorum for any legislation, ultimately causing embarrassment for the government and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The sources in the ruling party said that the lawmakers showing disinterest in the National Assembly proceedings have strictly been asked to ensure their presence.

“But these warnings and reminders have apparently brought no change (in their actions) as till the last sitting of National Assembly the presence was very thin,” the sources said.

“Seeing the disinterest of the MNAs, it is being deliberated to award tickets only after seeing their attendance and performance,” they said.

The lawmakers would draw an increased salary from this month, though majority of them were not present in the house when the raise was announced, showing their commitment to the legislative business.

According to an account compiled by Fafen, around eight lawmakers from main political parties missed nearly 300 sittings of the National Assembly.

Over two-dozen MNAs were also on the list for being absent from the house for over 200 times (out of total 359). Over hundred MNAs mainly from treasury benches missed around 40 proceedings, according to the data.

At the same time, the attendance of some government lawmakers remained outstanding in last over three years.

Sheikh Aftab Ahmed remained on the top with 99 percent attendance, followed by Mian Riaz Pirzada (90 percent), Usman Ibrahim (80 percent), Zahimd Hamid (78 percent), Abdul Qadir Baloch (76 percent), Ahsan Iqbal (38 percent) and Akram Durrani (44 percent).