NA launches performance report of first parliamentary year


ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Tuesday launched first annual performance report of the National Assembly and said that the lower house had passed 11 bills during the first year of its tenure.
Addressing a press conference, he said, 22 government and 48 private members’ bills were introduced in the house. He said that composition of all of the 29 standing committees, five non-ministerial standing committees, three parliamentary committees, one finance committee and one special committee on Kashmir had been completed.
All committee chairs had been elected and almost all of the committees had held their meetings at an average rate of 8.32 per committee during the first year, he said, adding that a total of 19 reports had been prepared by different standing committees out of which 10 reports had been presented to the assembly. 
He said that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had discussed 336 audit paras/grants and had prepared three reports to be presented to the assembly. The house discussed important issues of public importance, including foreign policy, security situation, law and order, energy and polio crisis and passed 56 resolutions. Answers of 2,703 questions were given in the house, he added. 
The speaker said the that the assembly secretariat received 753 call-attention notices out of which the house took up 143 and discussed 118. Nine out of 408 motions tabled under Rule 259 were discussed while 23 out of 65 questions of privilege raised in the house were held in order and referred to the committee concerned. 
Around 40 adjournment motions were converted into five motions under Rule 259 and were debated.  
In the first year, 88 friendship groups were established with parliaments of friendly countries and eight delegations, led by the respective speakers, visited Pakistan. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also visited the National Assembly. 
The speaker led parliamentary delegations to Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, UAE, Russia and Tajikistan besides representing Pakistan at Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 129th and 130th Assemblies in Geneva and attending the 7th SAARC Speakers Conference in the Maldives. 
In addition, 72 members from all of parliamentary parties present in the house were sent on bilateral visits, conferences, seminars and workshops abroad. 
Speaker Sadiq said that a robust Human Resource Management Survey was conducted for the first time in the history of the assembly in order to gauge the capacity, utility and need of each employee of the secretariat.
He said that software modules for computerising all of the operations of establishment and information technology wings had been made functional while similar ones were in testing phase for the PAC and the notice office.
A vibrant website of the National Assembly was providing up-to-date information regarding business of the house to the general public. A separate website for the PAC had also been developed. All notices relating to assembly sessions and committee meetings were promptly and timely communicated through a corporate SMS service. The Information Technology Ministry had developed centralised software to digitise the file movement process of all of the federal government offices.
The Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) was revitalised in order to make maximum use of this precious facility.  Over 500 books, worth over Rs 1 million, were added to the assembly library while a dynamic workforce of fresh graduates from leading universities were engaged as ‘Young Parliamentary Associates’ to help and assist members in research and information gathering.
Meanwhile, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has expressed concerns that parliament was also a target of terrorists.  
During press conference of one-year progress of the National Assembly, he said that easy access of Sikh demonstrators into the house was a big question mark on the security issue, whence security personnel gave in easily and sheepishly to the demonstrators.“I have written to police authorities and also to the interior minister to resolve the issue of security, particularly after the incident involving entry of Sikh demonstrators.”

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