NA passes nine bills, refers 21 to committees

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly's 42nd session addressed its three quarters agenda approving nine legislative proposals and handing over 21 others to the relevant standing committees for review and recommendations. 
The legislation sent to the committees included a Constitutional Amendment to allocate 23 seats to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The session spanned over four sittings held between May 15 and May 18, 2017. The cumulative duration of the session was 13 hours and three minutes, however the proceedings remained suspended for an hour and three minutes due to prayer break and lack of quorum. 
The Speaker presided over nearly half (49%) proceedings while the Deputy Speaker chaired the rest. The Prime Minister did not attend the session as he is on six- day official visit to the People's Republic of China. The Leader of the Opposition attended three sittings and remained present for three hours and 29 minutes (29% of the session). 
On average, every sitting started 17 minutes behind its scheduled time and was attended by 217 lawmakers. The average attendance at the commencement of each sitting was 46 and at conclusion of the sitting was 43. The parliamentary leaders of PTI, PML-F and NP did not attend the session while the leader of PML-Z attended all sittings of the session. The leaders of QWP-S, JUI-F, Jl, AMLP, PPPP and PkMAP attended three sittings each.
The legislative business before the House during this session comprised 54 bills of which more than three quarters (42) were initiated by private lawmakers. Twelve bills (11 Private and One Government) were deferred for a later time. 
One of the Private Members' bills was dropped due to absence of the mover and three others were withdrawn by the members in-charge after being opposed by the government. A government bill was left unaddressed. Seven of 54 bills had been received from the Senate including three government bills which were previously approved by the National Assembly but Senate passed them with amendments.
The government legislation focused on FATA reforms, child protection, alternate dispute resolution mechanism, food safety and economic regulations. The private members' bills related to electoral issues, counter-terrorism, education, accountability, reforms in justice delivery, human rights, health and governance. The lawmakers debated the legislation concerning FATA reforms for two hours and 37 minutes. Seventeen members took part in the debate. Moreover, three lawmakers discussed the National School of Public Policy (Amendment) Bill, 2017. No discussion took place on other laws passed by the House or introduced before it.
There were five resolutions by individual members and one by the government on Orders of the Day. The House did not address any of these resolutions. The government resolutions sought extension in an ordinance while the private lawmakers' resolutions demanded government's action on spurious drugs, child beggar, problems of overseas Pakistanis, electricity load shedding and increase in the exports. 
These public importance resolutions were sponsored by lawmakers of PPPP, JUI, PML-N, MQM and PTI. However, the House adopted two supplementary resolutions supported by members belonging to both side of the aisle. These resolutions condemned the attack on Deputy Chairman in Mastung and killings of labourers in Gwadar.-NNI