ISLAMABAD, June 19, 2012: Only ten legislators were present in the House when the Punjab Assembly started debate on budget on Tuesday as the 11th sitting of 38th session witnessed the treasury and opposition benches chanting slogans against each other.
Meeting for three hours and 43 minutes, the sitting, which started an hour and 15 minutes behind schedule, had only 51 legislators when it was adjourned. The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in Pakistan with the current strength of 369. The Quorum was visibly lacking but none of the Members pointed it out.
The Chief Minister attended the sitting for an hour and 22 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition remained in the House for two hours. The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Minister for Finance attended the sitting for an hour and five minutes.
Only the parliamentary leader of PML was present while the leaders of PMLF, MMAP and PMLZ were absent.
Three PML and one PPPP legislators spoke on Cut Motions on allocations for the police department for 58 minutes (26% of the sitting time).
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 43 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1115 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 15 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Chief Minister attended the sitting for an hour and 22 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours.
- The Minister for Finance was present for an hour and five minutes.
- Only the parliamentary leader of PML was present while the leaders of PMLF, MMAP and PMLZ were absent.
- Only 10 Members (3% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 51 (14%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Seven minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three PML and one PPPP legislators spoke on two Cut Motions on allocations for the police department for 58 minutes (26% of the sitting time).
- There was no other formal agenda on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- No Points of Order was raised during the sitting.
- 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, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was not pointed out by any of the Members.
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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