ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly budget session, comprising 15 sittings, apart from passing finance bill 2015 and adoption of three resolutions, witnessed multiple walkouts of opposition factions against PML-N government.

This 23rd session of the National Assembly, started on June 5 and concluded on June 25, extended the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 for 120 days amid strong protest from opposition benches.

The Finance Bill appeared on the list of business during the first sitting and was passed in the 13th sitting. The second sitting witnessed the presentation of the Finance (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 and total of 161 lawmakers participated in the budget debate that consumed 52 percent of the session time, according to the report conducted by FAFEN.

Sixty-four lawmakers from the ruling PML-N took part in the budget deliberations, followed by PTI (26), PPPP (25), MQM (16), JUI-F (10), JI (four), PkMAP (three), PML-F (two) and one each from AMLP, QWP, APML, BNP, ANP, AJIP and NPP. In addition, four independent members also contributed in the budget debate.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization submitted 92 recommendations on the Finance Bill, of which 56 were incorporated by the National Assembly, says the report.

The National Assembly adopted 143 demands for grants from different departments and disapproved 1,515 cut motions. Forty-nine demands of grants were approved in the absence of the opposition lawmakers.

The lawmakers’ attendance remained low throughout the session - with an average of 40 (12 percent) members present at the start and 78 (23 percent) at the end of each sitting, according to the report.

The prime minister, during the budget session, attended four out of fifteen sittings (5 percent of the session), while the Opposition Leader was present in 13 sittings for 41 percent of the session time.

The House adopted three resolutions to condemn the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, to condemn the provocative statements by the Indian leadership and to extend the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 for a period of 120 days.

Moreover, the last two sittings witnessed a debate on the situation from the ongoing energy crisis in the country. Six lawmakers from PPPP, in addition to PTI (5), MQM (4), PML-N, PkMAP, JI (two each) and ANP, APML, AMLP and JUI-F (one each) participated in the debate that consumed 9 percent of the session, says the report.

It was calculated that nearly 9 percent of the proceedings’ time was consumed by points of orders (POs). Three reports on the Islamabad Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal Bill 2015, the Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the National University of Medical Sciences Bill 2015 were presented during the session.

In addition, the House witnessed the presentation of papers on the supplementary demands for grants and appropriations for the financial year 2014-2015, schedule of authorized expenditure 2015-2016 and supplementary schedule of authorized expenditure 2014-2015.

The defense minister’s controversial statement triggered four walkouts, thrice from MQM and once from the entire opposition except MQM. independent lawmakers, in addition to lawmakers from JI, ANP and PTI, walked out on two separate occasions to protest the energy crisis.