ISLAMABAD, January 26, 2012: For the second consecutive day the Punjab Assembly passed 14 Bills amid lack of Quorum on Thursday.
The sixth sitting spanning six hours and 45 minutes witnessed low attendance. Only four Members were present at the outset and 22 when the sitting was adjourned. Lack of Quorum was called by a PPPP MPA, on which the Chair called the bells to be rung for five minutes.
On Wednesday during the fifth sitting, the House passed 14 Bills without one-fourth of the MPAs present.
Thirty-four questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 14 were responded by the relevant ministries. A total of 40 supplementary questions were asked.
Two Calling Attention Notices were taken up and a Resolution on not banning any extracurricular activities in public and private educational institutions was adopted by the House.
The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for six hours and 45 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1055 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started 55 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PML and MMAP attended the sitting while those of PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- Only four Members (1% of the total Membership) were present at the start while 42 (11%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 98 Members (27%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- Four minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Thirty-four questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, 14 were put up and responded to by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 40 supplementary questions were asked.
- Two Calling Attention Notices about alleged murder and dacoity cases in Faisalabad and Sheikhupura were taken up by the House.
- Fourteen Bills – The Hindu Disposition of Property (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Hindu Law of Inheritance (Second Amendment) Bill 2011, the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration And Control) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Road Transport Workers (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Punjab Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Punjab Workers’ Children (Education) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Punjab Agricultural Pesticides (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Punjab Conferment of Proprietary Rights on Occupancy Tenants And Muqarraridars Bill 2011, the Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2011, the Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan Bill 2011, and the Punjab Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2011– appearing on the Agenda were passed by the House.
- A Resolution on not banning any extracurricular activities in public and private educational institutions was adopted by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five Points of Order were raised which consumed eight minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two walkouts. A PML Member staged a walkout protesting against the passage of the Resolution. The Member claimed that he had submitted a similar Resolution, which was not taken up. The walkout lasted five minutes. On second instance, another PML Member walked out on the same Resolution.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting, was pointed out by a PPPP Member. The Chair called the bells to be rung for five minutes.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN
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