The 10th Balochistan Assembly passed 19 treasury-backed bills and adopted 46 resolutions that mostly sought improved governance and economic development in the province. However, no private member bill/legislative proposal was introduced in the House that showed lack of interest both by the treasury and the opposition members in bringing legislation pieces.
Keeping in view the security situation, the House legislated to devise a mechanism for monitoring of rented buildings and keeping check on guests staying in hotels. The House also passed two separate bills for the protection of working women and children from violence, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation. The passage of the bill regarding prevention measures from Thalassemia and establishing Nephro Urology institute in Quetta also took place through political consensus. The House also gave approval to provide best accommodation facilities to the people of Quetta and carried out legislation to establish Defence Housing Authority in the provincial capital. While, the House passed a law to protect the witnesses enabling them to give evidence in criminal proceedings.
The House met in 10 sessions comprising 46 sittings in its 3rd parliamentary year, thus completing the mandatory requirement of 100 days set by the Constitution for provincial assemblies. These sessions lasted 95 hours and 28 minutes, with each sitting starting with an average delay of 42 minutes. The breaks consumed two hours and 28 minutes – three percent of the total time during the year.
The Chief Minister attended 27 sittings and remained present during the proceedings for 56 percent time while the Leader of the Opposition showed up in 28 sittings and covered 42 percent of the proceedings. The total number of sittings during the parliamentary year remained 46.
On the other hand, the parliamentary leader of PkMAP attended 37 sittings, followed by the leaders of PML & ANP (29 each), NP (19), MWM (16) while the BNP leader did not attend any of the sittings during the entire parliamentary year.
On average, 24 members were present at the outset of the 65-member assembly, while 22 were seen at the time of adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 33 lawmakers were present at one point of the sitting while one non-Muslim Member attended each sitting on average.
The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker chaired 38% (36 hours and 40 minutes) and 44% (42 hours and 16 minutes) of the proceedings, while 15% (14 hours and 4 minutes) of the time was presided over by the Panel of Chairpersons. The House consumed three percent (two hours and 28 minutes) of the time during breaks.
FAFEN classifies lawmakers’ participation in three categories; members submitting agenda on the List of Business; legislators participating in on-floor debates and members taking part in both these activities.
The lawmakers participated in the proceedings according to their numerical strength in the Assembly. All the 14 legislators of PkMAP, eight of JUI-F and five of PML took part in the proceedings followed by the lawmakers of NP (9 out of 11 – 82%) and PML-N (16 out of 20 – 80%). Among the parties with fewer members, two BNP lawmakers and one each lawmaker of ANP and MWM participated in the proceedings along with an independent legislator. However, the sole member of BNP-A did not take part in the proceedings.
Budget Discussion (2015-16)
The MPAs in Balochistan debated the budget for 54% (seven hours and 42 minutes) of the session. A total of 27 lawmakers (male 21, female 6) participated in the budget debate while 38 members (male 32, female 6) were such who remained inactive during the budget session.
Among the 19 bills passed during the reporting period, five related to the amendments in the existing laws while the remaining 14 were a new piece of legislation.
Introduced by a female lawmaker of National Party, the Provincial Assembly adopted an amendment to the Balochistan Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, which states that a new rule 170-A shall be inserted after Rule 170 for formulation of Council of Chairmen/Chairpersons which consist of all Chairmen of the Standing and Functional Committees.
The House adopted 46 resolutions of which 24 were sponsored by male, seven by female and 15 were jointly sponsored by both male and female lawmakers. Various issues were highlighted through the resolutions that mainly dealt with governance, Finance and Economic Policy and employment issues.
Representation and Responsiveness
Only 11 MPAs (17%) performed government oversight through 161 starred questions. The questions dealt with information on matters related to different departments with an emphasis on questioning steps of the incumbent government for improvement in different sectors.
The questions were directed to 14 departments and most of the questions were addressed to Planning and Development (27), Health (22), Education (18), S&GAD (21), Local Government and Rural Development (14), Public Health Engineering (11), Agriculture , Communication & Works ( 9 each), Irrigation, Mines & Minerals Development, Home & Tribal Affairs (8 each), Livestock (3), Energy (2) and Finance (1). In addition, lawmakers asked 13 supplementary questions.
ANP male lawmaker took the lead in submitting questions as he alone asked 76 questions followed by five JUI-F lawmakers asking 53 questions (three male MPAs raising 45 questions, two female MPAs raising eight questions), one BNP male lawmaker (22 questions), two PML-N male lawmakers (5 questions), one female PML member (4 questions) and one male PkMAP lawmaker (one question).
A total of 16 Adjournment Motions were part of agenda during the year. A total of 23 lawmakers – PkMAP (8), PML-N (5), JUI-F & NP ( 4 each), ANP and PML (one each) – participated in debate on AMs which continued for 514 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
Lack of quorum was pointed out on four occasions by as many members – three of them belonging to JUI-F while one was from PML-N. The Chair adjourned the proceedings thrice during the year for lacking quorum while the sitting remained suspended for 43 minutes on one occasion, as well.
Twelve incidents of walkouts were witnessed during the year consuming 703 minutes of the proceedings while one instance each of boycott and protest was also recorded during the same period.
As many as 48 lawmakers raised 318 POs consuming 19 hours and 54 minutes – 21 percent of each session on average.The most of POs (60) were raised in 22nd session which consumed four hours and 50 minutes while no point of order was raised in 23rd or 24th session having single-sitting each. The minimum 16 POs were raised in first session (19th session) of third parliamentary year which consumed 47 minutes of the session.
Lawmakers raised various issues through POs –220 dealing with governance followed by the rules of business (53), prayers and tributes (18), Democracy and Political Development (14), Energy and Natural Resources (3), strengthening the federation, Finance and Economic Policy (2 each), Defense and Foreign Relations (one each). Four POs on miscellaneous issues were also raised during this period.
Party-wise, PkMAP members raised 104 issues through points of order, followed by JUI-F (78), PML-N (48), NP (38), PML (24), ANP (19), MWM (5), and BNP (2).
As many as 37 male members raised 229 issues while 11 female members brought 89 issues on the floor of the House through POs.
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