President Arif Alvi has summoned a joint session of the parliament on August 30 when he will address lawmakers, a statement from the National Assembly Secretariat’s media wing said on Monday.
The session will be held at Parliament House at 5pm on Aug 30 — which will mark the beginning of the new parliamentary year.
A National Assembly session has also been summoned by President Alvi and will begin at 4pm on September 2, the statement added.
The National Assembly completed its first parliamentary year on August 12. According to a report by Dawn on July 29 — when a planned session was prorogued by the president — more than 50 government and private members’ bills are lying pending before the house committees, which were constituted by Speaker Asad Qaiser after an inordinate delay due to a controversy over chairmanship of the powerful Public Accounts Committee.
Furthermore, the present assembly in its first parliamentary year has so far been able to hold sittings on 120 days, even though under the rules it is mandatory for the lower house of parliament to remain in session for at least 130 “working days”. The sittings include three joint sittings of the two houses of parliament.
The number of actual sittings, however, comes to only 88 as under the rules the two days sandwiched between two working days are also counted as the session days. The NA has so far met for 263 hours and 29 minutes, which also includes a nearly 90-hour budget session.
Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2012 states: “There shall be at least three sessions of the Assembly every year, and not more than one hundred and twenty days shall intervene between the last sitting of the Assembly in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session: provided that the Assembly shall meet for not less than one hundred and thirty working days in each parliamentary year.”