ISLAMABAD, January 20, 2012: The second sitting of the Punjab Assembly witnessed low attendance with only 11 Members present at the outset and 29 when the sitting was adjourned.
A maximum of 51 Members (14%) were present at one point of the sitting. None of the parliamentary leaders attended the proceedings.
The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a PML Member that prompted the adjournment.
The sitting spanned an hour and 23 minutes and seven out of 21 questions were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries.
Four 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. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any Assembly output.
The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were absent.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 23 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1035 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 0900 hours. The House proceedings started an hour and 35 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
- None of the parliamentary leaders attended the sitting.
- Only 11 Members (3% of the total Membership) were present at the start while 29 (8%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 51 Members (14%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- Two minority Members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-one questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only seven were put up and responded to by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 21 supplementary questions were asked during the sitting.
- No Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The annual report of Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) 2010-2011 was not presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four 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.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a male Member of PML. The Chair rung the bells for five minutes, but due to persistent lack of Quorum the sitting was adjourned.
|After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the second sitting of the 33nd session of the Punjab Assembly.
These reports will be released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
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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