Deputy Speaker slot lying vacant for seven months

  • Balochistan PA Takes Up Issues of Public Interest
  • Session marked by low attendance of lawmakers

The Balochistan Assembly debated critical issues of energy, governance, health and agriculture during its 31st session and adopted four resolutions to bring about improvement in these sectors, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Session Report based on direct observation of the legislature’s proceedings.

The session, consisting of five sittings, started on July 25 and ended on August 5, 2016. On average, each sitting started 34 minutes behind the schedule while the House met for nine hours and 40 minutes. The longest sitting of three hours and 21 minutes was witnessed on July 28, 2016 while the shortest sitting lasted 31 minutes on July 25, 2016.

The Speaker attended all five sittings and chaired 93 percent of the session’s time while a Member of Panel of Chairpersons presided over the remaining seven percent of the session. The Chief Minister (Leader of the House) attended two sittings and participated in 37% of the session’s proceedings while the Leader of the Opposition was present in only one sitting and attended 35% of the proceedings’ time.

The Parliamentary leaders of PML and ANP attended four sittings each followed by MWM (3), PkMAP & PML-N (2 each), JUI-F and NP (one each).

The entire session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers as on average 22 (34%) members remained present during the start and 26 (40%) at the end of each sitting. One minority member, on average, attended each sitting of the session.

The House adopted four resolutions to provide vaccines for treatment of Hepatitis C at Rural Health Centres and Basic Health Units; initiate rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by heavy rains and storms; stop electricity load-shedding in all districts and initiate steps on emergency basis for the development of provincial agriculture sector affected by power crisis and drought in various districts.

The House witnessed introduction of two bills – the Balochistan Employees Efficiency and Discipline (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Prohibition of Sheesha Smoking Bill, 2016.

Twenty-five out of 37 starred questions on the agenda were taken up by the House. In addition, four supplementary questions were also raised by the lawmakers.

The House witnessed presentation of Finance Committee report for FY 2015-16 under Rule 166(4). The members of JUI-F, PML-N, PkMAP and ANP walked out of the House for eight minutes against electricity load-shedding in the province while JUI-F lawmaker protested for two minutes over the absence of provincial secretaries in official gallery of the Assembly.

The House discussed an Adjournment Motion regarding prevailing law and order in the province, while lawmakers raised 40 Points of Order that consumed 126 minutes of the session’s time.

To download complete report, click here