ISLAMABAD, January 25, 2012: The Punjab Assembly passed fourteen Bills without Quorum. The siting met for four hours and 55 minutes, and witnessed low attendance with only nine Members present at the outset and 53 when the sitting was adjourned.
The lack of Quorum was called on five different occasions during the sitting.
Thirty-four questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 13 were responded by the relevant ministries. A total of 31 supplementary questions were asked.
Twenty-nine Points of Order were raised which consumed 35 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 was absent while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 20 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for four hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1120 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started an hour and 20 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 45 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 20 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PML and MMAP attended the sitting while those of PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- Only nine Members (2% of the total Membership) were present at the start while 53 (14%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 102 Members (28%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- Two minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Thirty-four questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, 13 were put up and were responded to by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 31 supplementary questions were asked.
- Fourteen Bills – the Injured Persons (Medical Aid) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Powers Of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Administrator General’s (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Official Trustees (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Provincial Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Charitable And Religious Trusts (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Hindu Inheritance (Removal Of Disabilities) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Antiquities (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Disabled Persons (Employment And Rehabilitation) (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Factories (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Bill 2011, and the Punjab Protection Of Breast-Feeding And Child Nutrition (Amendment) Bill 2011 – appearing on the Agenda were passed by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-nine Points of Order were raised which consumed 35 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two walkouts and a boycott. One the first instance, the PPPP staged a walkout in protest against the deaths due to reaction of a medicine from the pharmacy of Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The walkout lasted 20 minutes. On the second occurrence, three PPPP Members walked out of the House protesting against the process of legislation followed by the Punjab Assembly. A PML Member boycotted the sitting due the same reason.
- 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 on five different occasions.
|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 fifth 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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