Who spoke the most in NA since 2018?

Record shows opposition given ample opportunity to express its views


Rizwan Shehzad   April 26, 2021
A view of the National Assembly as it went orange on Wednesday to show solidarity with the global 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Contrary to their claim, the data compiled by the National Assembly has revealed that the opposition lawmakers  have spoken more than those on the treasury benches during parliamentary proceedings since the PTI-led government came to power.

However, the data also confirms that PTI lawmakers have spoken more than any other party in the assembly in the past 2.5 years.

The opposition parties usually criticise the speaker for giving the floor more to the lawmakers belonging to the ruling party. The data, however, shows that four parties -- the PML-N, the PPP, the MMA and the BNP-M as well as the independent lawmakers sitting on the opposition benches -- have spoken on the floor of the house for 243 hours and three minutes.

The government side which includes the PTI, the MQM-P, the PML-Q, the BAP, the GDA, the AMLP, the JWP and an independent lawmaker have collectively spoken for 234 hours and 28 minutes.

Therefore, the opposition has spoken for roughly nine more hours more than the other side at the mid of the constitutional term.

PTI MNA Farrukh Habib while sharing the data said NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had given 243 hours to the opposition parties while the government alliance received 234 hours for debate.

Referring to a statement of PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who accused Qaiser of not allowing the opposition to speak, Habib said the data contradicted the claim.

“It [data] would be presented in assembly in the next sitting,” he added.

In response, Abbasi questioned whether or not the average one-and-a-half hour debate had benefitted the people in the “three years” of the present government.

“Debate on not a single adjournment motion presented by the opposition was allowed to be completed by the speaker,” he added.

“Just see how much time was given in the last 10 days to the opposition parties,” he added.

“He [speaker] kills the relevant business. Budget is around the corner and the debate on the last presidential address has yet to take place.”

The former premier contended that tge number of hours did not make any sense in the absence of any meaningful debate.

Of the 234 hours and 28 minutes, the government side took 99 hours and 58 minutes in the first parliamentary year, 110 hours and 23 minutes in the second, and 24 hours and seven minutes in the third express their opinion.

Of the 243 hours and three minutes, the opposition side spent 116 hours and two minutes in the first parliamentary year, 108 hours and gour minutes in the second, and 18 hours and 57 minutes in the third.

Collectively, both sides have so far spoken for total 477 hours and 31 minutes in the house till April 23, 2021 when the 32nd session ended.

Both sides have consumed 216 hours in first year, 218 hours and 27 minutes in second year, and 43 hours and four minutes in the third year.

The PML-N, which has 84 seats in the assembly, has consumed total 105 hours and three minutes up to April 23. It spoke for 53 hours and four minutes in the first, 44 hours and 59 minutes in the second, and seven hours in the ongoing parliamentary year.

The PPP with 55 seats took the floor for a total of 88 hours and 37 minutes, including 41 hours and 27 minutes in the first, 39 hours and 53 minutes in the second, and seven hours and 17 minutes in the third year.

The MMA, which has 15 seats, took the floor for 30 hours. The BNP-M’s four lawmakers spoke for 10 hours and 57 minutes, the ANP's single member spoke for one hour and 58 minutes while three independents consumed six hours and 28 minutes.

In contrast, the PTI with 156 members spoke for 214 hours and 27 minutes, including 89 hours and 11 minutes in the first, 102 hours and 39 minutes in the second, and 22 hours and 37 minutes in the third year.

The MQM-P having seven seats spoke for 11 hours 30 minutes, the PML-Q’s five lawmakers spoke for two hours and six minutes, the BAP’s five members spoke for two hour and 44 minutes, the GDA’s three lawmakers spoke for three hour and 17 minutes, the AMLP's single MNA took 38 minutes, and the JWP consumed 13 minutes.

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