ISLAMABAD, March 17, 2015: The Balochistan Assembly adopted 12 resolutions and took up only seven questions during the entire 16th session comprising nine sittings, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its session report based on direct observation of the House.
Of 16 resolutions, three were not taken up while one was debated by the lawmakers. Twelve other resolutions adopted by the House were regarding issuance of diplomatic passport to Speakers and Deputy Speakers; constructing a round-about at Quetta-Chaman main road; developing a route from Gwadar to Kashgar, Dera Ismail Khan, Zhob, Quetta and Khuzdar; restoring previous schedules of PIA flights from Quetta to Islamabad; shifting head office of Southern Gas Company (SSGC) from Karachi to Quetta; necessary legislation for printing and publication of Pakistani laws from private persons; implementation of minorities’ job quota in government departments; setting up a government inter-girls college in Sanjwani Tehsil; ensuring safe road environment in Quetta; action against construction of buildings in Quetta without NOC; condemning church bombings at Yuhannaabad, Lahore and allowing Parliament under article 144 of Constitution to enact a law for regulating matters relating to drugs.
Nine lawmakers – male (8), female (one)- took part in debate on the resolution regarding Gwadar route that continued for 147 minutes. Another resolution regarding shifting of SSGC head office from Karachi to Quetta was discussed for 44 minutes and was participated by eight lawmakers, including four females. Similarly, one of the resolutions condemning Lahore church bombings consumed 4% (65 minutes) of the session’s time. Nine lawmakers- male (7) and female (2)- took part in the debate on this resolution.
The House debated law and order in the province which consumed 7% (120 minutes) of session’s total time. A total of 10 legislators shared their views on it.
The House witnessed passage of two bills comprising the Balochistan Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Balochistan Qur’an Majeed (Printing and Recording) Bill, 2015. Two other bills-the Balochistan Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Balochistan Children Welfare and Protection Bill, 2015- were not taken up by the House.
An adjournment motion taken up by the House was relating to the closure of eye department in a local hospital in Quetta.
There were 28 starred questions on the agenda, of which only seven were taken up on the floor of the House. Of the 28 questions, five each were addressed to Ministries of Health and Education followed by Planning and Development and Irrigation Departments (4 each); Public Health Engineering and Local Government Departments (3 each); Wild Life Department (2) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority and Communication Department (one each).
The nine-sitting session commenced on February 23, 2015 and prorogued on March 16, 2015 with an average sitting time of an hour and 59 minutes. On average, each sitting started 50 minutes behind the schedule with 20 members at the outset and 24 at the time of adjournment. One minority member attended each sitting on average.
The Speaker chaired 73% of session’s time and the Panel of Chairpersons for 24% of the session’s proceedings. The remaining 3% was consumed in a break. The Chief Minister (Leader of the House) attended eight sittings (87% of the proceedings’ time) while the Leader of the Opposition was present in seven sittings (70% of the proceedings’ time).
Members raised 52 points of order, consuming 14% (147 minutes) of total session time. Among parliamentary leaders, PML parliamentary leader attended seven sitting followed by ANP (6), PkMAP (4), BNP (3) and MWM, PML-N (one each).
This session report is based on direct observation of the Balochistan Assembly proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development (CPD) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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