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Wednesday May 18, 2022

40th NA session :PM attends only one sitting, opposition leader four sittings

January 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The 40th session of the National Assembly which was prorogued last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan attended only one sitting held on January 13 out of the 9 sittings of the National Assembly held during the 40th session while Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif attended only 4 sittings held on January 10, 11, 12 and 13, according to PILDAT Parliament. According to PILDAT Parliament, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the most vocal MNA during the 40th session with a recorded talk time of 1 hour 32 minutes and 35 seconds.

Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif spoke for 1 hour 13 minutes and 15 seconds during the session, followed by Ahsan Iqbal, who spoke for 1 hour 4 minutes and 5 seconds. Abdul Qadir Patel spoke for 34 minutes and Kh Asif spoke for 31.25 minutes. On the average, 224 or 65.50% MNAs marked their attendance during the 40th session.

The National Assembly session which was prorogued last week met for 23 hours and 38 minutes in 40th session with an average time of 2 hours and 37 minutes per sitting and 68.14% agenda items on average were left over in 9 sittings held during 40th session, according to PILDAT Parliament Update-40th session of the National Assembly.

All 9 sittings (January 10, January 11, January 12, January 13, January 14, January 17, January 18, January 19 and January 20) started late on an average of 38 minutes per sitting, 68.14% agenda items on average were left over in 9 sittings held during the 40th session.

Forty eight agenda items were left over out of 49 in the sitting held on January 10. In the sitting held on January 11, 19 agenda items were left over out of 55. On January 12, only three agenda items were taken up and 20 agenda items were left over when quorum was pointed out and the house was adjourned for not being in order. On January 13, 13 agenda items were left over out of 64. In the sitting held on January 14, only 32 agenda items were taken up out of 174 agenda items. On January 17, only two agenda items were taken up out of 17 agenda items when quorum was pointed out and the house was adjourned for not being in order.

On January 18, 131 agenda items were left over out of 172 agenda items when quorum was pointed out and the house was adjourned for not being in order. In the sitting held on January 19, only one agenda item was taken up out of 23 agenda items when quorum was pointed out and the house was adjourned for not being in order. In the last sitting held on January 21, 7 agenda items were left over out of 22 when the session was prorogued. In 5 (55.55%) out of 9 sittings of the National Assembly during 40th session, quorum was pointed out and 4 (44.44%) sittings were adjourned though on average 224 (65.50%) MNAs marked attendance in the session. Quorum was pointed out 7 times throughout the session. On January 12, quorum was pointed out 3 times and the proceedings were suspended due to non-availability of required number of MNAs in the session. It must be noted that 280 MNAs had marked their attendance on January 12.

The sitting held on January 17 was also adjourned due to lack of quorum where 106 MNAs were recorded as present. Similarly, the sitting held on January 18 was adjourned due to lack of quorum where 163 MNAs were recorded as present. Sitting held on January 19 was also adjourned due to lack of quorum where 162 MNAs were recorded as present.

As many as 16 bills were passed by the National Assembly in a single sitting held on January 13 including the highly contentious State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which the opposition termed surrender to the IMF with far greater implications for Pakistan than the surrender in Dhaka on December 16, 1971.

The treasury benches also managed to pass the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2022 amidst opposition’s protest that the bill would further fuel already high inflation in Pakistan. The opposition MNAs have continued to demand that the Speaker should re-do voting tally though the Speaker has continued to refuse to hold vote count by standing in seats.

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