Thursday, March 23, 2023

NA devotes negligible time on policy issues

Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) on Monday issued an analysis on the 45th session of the National Assembly, pointing out that the total time consumed for discussion on policy issues spanned over only 1 hour and 32 minutes, less than the average time of one sitting.

The report noted that the 18-day session, which convened eleven sittings from October 7 to October 24, 2022, met for 22 hours and 20 minutes with an average time of 2 hours and 2 minutes per sitting.

Two out of eleven sittings were adjourned due to lack of quorum.

The assembly could dispose of only 68.47% of its agenda items, passing 17 bills including seven from government and three private members’ bills while seven of them were transferred from the Senate.

Only one ordinance was laid during the session while no ordinance was extended.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could not attend a single sitting throughout the session while opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahmad attended three sittings.

On average, 103 (30.98%) MNAs were recorded as present in the session.

MNA Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali (NA-1) was the most vocal member during the session with a recorded talk time of 1 hour and 7 minutes.

PILDAT has defined policy issue as such that involves any amendment in a bill or a recommendation on devising a policy, adding: “Any discussion on an issue that does not go beyond mere criticism or highlighting a concern does not fall into policy issue and is treated as discussion or time spent on non-policy issues”.

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