ISLAMABAD, April 21, 2015: The second sitting of the Balochistan Assembly’s ongoing session was marked by an extensive debate on proposed change in the Kashgar-Gwadar trade route, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Tuesday.
The Chair had admitted and merged two identical adjournments motions (AMs) for a discussion on the subject during the previous sitting. Seven lawmakers – three from PkMAP and one each from ANP, PML-N, JUI-F and PML – debated the issue for 74 minutes as the House commenced the discussion on Tuesday.
The House also passed the Balochistan Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2015 tabled by the Minister for Services and General Administration, while the Balochistan Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 was introduced by the Minister for Excise and Taxation.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Balochistan Assembly met for two hours and 42 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- 20 lawmakers (31%) were present at the start and 25 (38%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 31 members (48%) attended the sitting.
- The sitting was entirely chaired by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Speaker and Deputy Speaker were absent.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 22 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, PML, PkMAP, JUI-F and ANP were present.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
- Three members applied for leave.
- The House passed the Balochistan Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2015 tabled by the Minister for Services and General Administration.
- The Minister for Excise and Taxation introduced the Balochistan Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven lawmakers – three from PkMAP and one each from ANP, PML-N, JUI-F and PML – debated the proposed changes in the Kashgar-Gwadar trade route for 74 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five points of order consumed 15 minutes of the proceedings.
- JUI-F lawmaker, led by the Opposition Leader, walked out of the House for 20 minutes to demand the formation of a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to probe the alleged death of children from measles in Killa Saifullah.
- An ANP lawmaker also walked out of the House for 18 minutes against the proposed change in Kashgar-Gwadar corridor.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on legislators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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The daily factsheet 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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