ISLAMABAD, May 22, 2015: The Punjab Assembly continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers on Friday as the House held a discussion on law and order in the province, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 49 minutes behind the schedule with only seven members (2%) present at the start and 22 (6%) at the time of adjournment. The quorum was visibly lacking throughout the sitting but was not pointed out by any of the present lawmakers. The Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting. Similarly, among parliamentary leaders, only the JI leader was present.
The Home Minister opened the debate on law and order and spoke on the subject for four minutes. He was followed by three PML-N lawmakers who spoke for 33 minutes and one member each from JI and PTI who shared their views for 19 minutes and 15 minutes respectively.
The Human Rights Minister introduced the Punjab Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Stamp (Amendment) Bill 2015.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 0949 hours against the scheduled time of 0900 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and 17 minutes.
- The remaining time was presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- Seven members (2%) were present at the start and 22 (6%) at the time of adjournment.
- A maximum of 59 (16%) members attended the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader were not present.
- Among parliamentary leaders, only the JI leader was present.
- Five out of eight minority members were present.
- No member applied for leave.
- The Human Rights Minister introduced the Punjab Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Stamp (Amendment) Bill 2015.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House held a discussion on law and order for 71 minutes.
- The House also took up 14 out of 41 starred questions appearing on the agenda as the lawmakers raised another 25 supplementary questions on the floor of the House.
- Five adjournment motions on commercialization of land belonging to Punjab University, assistance for peasants in calamity-hit areas, parking woes in Lahore, renovation of an ancient building in the provincial capital and banning the import of food supplements and spurious medicines were taken up during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised three points of order that consumed one minute of the sitting.
- No protests/boycotts/walkouts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and the public.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to the observers and the public.
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Correction: An earlier version of this factsheet erroneously identified the Speaker as the Deputy Speaker. The error is regretted.
The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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