ISLAMABAD - Who wears the pants in the House? Faisal Karim Kundi does, of course. When the Speaker, Dr Fahmida Mirza, is away, that is. Yes, that's when the Deputy Speaker runs the house. And the good natured, down to earth MNA from DI Khan does a good job too. But Dr Sumera Yasir, an MNA from Narowal, was confused on the issue. She kept calling him "Madam Speaker."The first time she did so, there was mild laughter from the benches and the gallery. It was a genuine mistake and she was embarrassed. She apologized immediately and cited the error to the frequent changes of guard between Dr Mirza and him. Yes, that and the fact that you're reading out from a written copy, he retorted. The House erupted in laughter; writing a speech and reading it out on the floor being impermissible. So far, so good. But down the line, much to her embarrassment, she does it again. This brought down the House. There were plenty requests for Points of Order, which the Deputy Speaker denied. He wanted the Dr Yasir to do her thing quickly. She did. And somehow managed to make the mistake a third time. Shamefaced, she could not even complete her speech. PML-Q MNA Kashmala Tariq had objected to Dr Yasir's reading out from a written copy, to which Kundi had said he had allowed her to do so. On a Point of Order, Q MNA Raja Hayat Hiraj wanted to enquire whether it was recitation he had allowed or calling him Madam. Kundi was gracious about the whole affair, though. She's a directly elected MNA, he said. Let her have her say. That's the Speaker and Deputy Speaker for you. Combining civility with a no-nonsense attitude. One MNA, though, was hard to please. He was not happy with the way Kundi and Dr Mirza were running the NA, cutting down the floor time of the representatives of the people. Yes, the PPP's Ghulam Farid Kathia did not like being cut off. We should be allowed to talk about important issues, he said. Important issues like what? Well, his speech, delivered in a budget session, contained an impassioned plea about saving the factory that used to make Nice Biscuits. Yes, the MNA from Sahiwal took those sugar sprinkled biscuits seriously. And who wouldn't? On a more serious note, it was a bit strange to witness a budget session hearing not many budget proposals. There was too much political stuff flying around. And judging from the little bit of the budget they spoke of, they were woefully unprepared. Primary cause for concern was innumeracy. The legislators have no sense of numbers. Or proportion. Some of the ditties: "The price of DAP fertilizer was Rs 35 per bag." (The real figure was 1000 times that). "Wheat had been exported in the previous regime at 200 per dollar." (Two hundred what?) "The population of Pakistan is 160 crores." (Which would make us the largest country in the world.) Ladies and gentlemen, meet the guys who have the nation's purse strings in their hands, the ones who are going to pass the Finance Bill.