ISLAMABAD         -      The PTI-led federal government more frequently bypassed the parliament during second year of its 5 years term by promulgating 31 ordinances.

This is an approximately four and a half times or 343 percent increase from year 1 when the government had promulgated only 7 ordinances. According to the PILDAT, upon the conclusion of second year of the 5-year term of the 15th National Assembly, while there has been some improved legislative activity, there remain many worrying signs on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as analysed by the PILDAT.

The 15th National Assembly has passed 3 times or 200 percent more bills than in the first year by passing 30 laws in the second year, compared to only 10 laws during the first year. However only 21 of these have been passed by both Houses of Parliament and received Presidential assent to become Acts of Parliament. 

Regarding Ordinances, despite this increase in legislative activity, the PTI-led federal government has more frequently bypassed the Parliament during second year by promulgating 31 ordinances during the year. This is an approximately four and a half times or 343 percent increase from year 1 when the government had promulgated only 7 ordinances. 

“While passage of more legislation by the National Assembly should have been welcomed, the most problematic aspect of this legislative activity, and one that hurts national pride and sovereignty, is that some of this legislation is not based on national indigenous initiatives to remove structural and procedural weaknesses, and to improve democratic governance in Pakistan,” observes PILDAT in its report. Instead, the federal government proposed and passed a number of bills or amendments to the existing legislation based on commitments with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Action Plan agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This includes laws and amendments relating to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), State-Owned Enterprise law, and Anti-Money Laundering.

Working Hours spent in each Assembly sitting has seen an increase of 31 percent from year 1. 15th National Assembly has spent 43 additional working hours by putting in 340 hours and 34 minutes in its second parliamentary year compared to 297 hours and 18 minutes in the first parliamentary year. The average working hours in the second parliamentary year was 3 hours and 50 minutes per sitting as compared to 2 hours and 55 minutes per sitting in the first parliamentary year. 

Within standing committees and their performance, owing mainly to political polarization and inability of the PTI-led government to take opposition parties along, 15th National Assembly had experienced an extraordinary delay of five months and 23 days during the first year in the formation of its standing committees. After the formation of committees, which are critical for the scrutiny of legislation and oversight of the executive, there is no organized information made available online by the Assembly on the work of each standing committee. A few reports of the committees are made available online, which are laid down by committees from time to time in the House, and usually relate to legislation referred to the committees, according to the PILDAT.