ISLAMABAD, September 26, 2014: Low attendance of MPAs and protest by opposition benches against the allocation of seats in the newly made assembly hall marked the short two-sitting 14th session of the Sindh Assembly.
Meeting for five hours and 29 minutes, with an average delay of 51 minutes, adopted three Resolutions condemning the division and creation of new administrative units in Sindh, and against sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Islamabad.
Each sitting on average lasted for two hours and 45 minutes. MPAs exhibited less interest in the assembly session as, on average, only 48 were present outset of each sitting and 45 at adjournment.
In addition, the Chief Minister did not attend both of the sittings while the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire session. Similarly, the Speaker did not attend the sitting while Deputy Speaker chaired the session.
In terms of legislation, the Provincial Minister for Parliamentary Affairs presented the Dow University of Health Sciences (Amendment) Ordinance 2014. In addition, the Sindh Workers Welfare Fund Bill, 2014 was introduced and sent to the relevant Standing Committee for further deliberation. However, two government bills -the Sindh Consumer Protection Bill, 2014 and the Sindh Injured Persons (Medical Aid) Bill, 2014- were not taken up.
Two out of four calling attention notices were taken up by the House. The taken up CANs were about the alleged torture of policemen against the protestors outside Bilawal House and poor sanitary arrangements in Karachi.
Similarly, five out of nine starred questions (requiring oral as well) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. In addition, 18 supplementary questions were asked.
Submitted by the Leader of the Opposition, a question of privilege (QoP) regarding the refusal of PIA to accept his travel vouchers during journey from Islamabad to Karachi was taken up by the House.
MPAs raised five points of orders which consumed nine minutes. 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 lead to any assembly output.
The session witnessed a pandemonium during the first sitting when the opposition benches protested against the scattered allotment of seats in the newly-made building. Later the opposition MPAs staged a 21-minute walkout on the same issue.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), a member organization of FAFEN
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