ISLAMABAD - The Senate did not address 40 per cent of its scheduled business during the last entire session that ended earlier this week.
The Upper House of the Parliament witnessed a change in its leadership following the formation of PTI-led new government at the federal level. Senator Shibli Faraz of the ruling party was notified as the leader of the house while Senator Raja Zafarul Haq of PML-N became the leader of the opposition.
According to the data released by Free and Fair Election Network, a non-government organisation, the house during the 281st session considered 35 (59 per cent) of 59 agenda items appearing on orders of the day set for six-sitting session. Of the remaining agenda, 23 items were never taken up while one was dropped due to absence of the concerned lawmaker. Most of the left-over agenda belonged to private lawmakers set for consideration on private members’ day (Monday).
The Senate business for this session comprised 11 legislative bills, 11 resolutions, 10 motions under Rule 218, 10 committee reports, seven adjournment motions, five calling attention notices and five other motions. The house skipped seven resolutions, five legislative bills, and all of the motions under Rule 218.
With an average of 15 per cent senators present at the commencement and 20 per cent at the adjournment of proceedings, each sitting lasted for three hours and seven minutes. The average maximum attendance per sitting remained 81 (78 per cent) with two out of four minority senators present in every sitting, on average.
The sittings usually started on their scheduled time with an average one-minute delay. The deputy chairman Senate presided over the entire proceedings during the session while six per cent of the session duration was consumed in suspension due to lack of quorum.
The leader of the house attended 85 per cent of the proceedings and remained present in every sitting while the leader of the opposition attended 53 per cent of the proceedings in five sittings. The prime minister came to the house once during the session for 49 minutes (4 per cent of the session duration).
The parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, NP, PkMAP, PPP and PML-F remained present in every sitting while the leaders of PML-N and PTI attended five sittings each. Moreover, the JI leader attended four sittings followed by BNP-M three and JUI-F one.
The house passed the National Disaster Management (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and referred four bills including an ordinance – the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 – to the relevant standing committees.