ISLAMABAD, April 2, 2016: The 16th session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was marked by less interest and low attendance of lawmakers and witnessed passage of three bills, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The session, comprising eight sittings, started on March 11, 2016 and concluded on April 1, 2016. On average, each sitting started 23 minutes behind the schedule and lasted an hour and 32 minutes
According to FAFEN’s observation, the lawmakers’ attendance remained low throughout the session – with an average of 36 (29%) members present at the start and 33 (27%) at the end of each sitting. PTI lawmakers pointed out quorum on three occasions which led to the adjournment of the sittings twice (2nd and 8th) and suspension of proceedings for 15 minutes (4th sitting) due to the presence of less than 25 percent lawmakers.
The Chief Minister remained absent throughout the session, while the Opposition Leader attended three out of eight sittings for a total of 44% of the session’s time.
Nearly 31% of the session was chaired by the Speaker, who was present in four sittings. The Deputy Speaker was present in six sittings and chaired 62% of the session while seven percent of the session time was consumed in a break. Among the parliamentary leaders in the House, PML-N and ANP leaders attended six sittings each followed by JI (4), QWP-S (3) and PPPP (2).
The House passed three bills including the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Bill, 2016 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016. A bill – the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Servants Retirement Benefits and Death Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – was introduced while three Ordinances including the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2016; the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 were laid before the House.
The House took up one Privilege Motion of PTI male lawmaker regarding misbehavior of government officials with him while two other privilege motions – one each of PTI and JUI-F – were not taken up by the House.
Seven Calling Attention Notices (CANs) addressed to Home Department, Finance, Local Government and Rural Development, Education, Relief and Law and Justice were taken up by the House. Two CANs in the last sitting remained unaddressed due to early adjournment of the sitting after lack of quorum.
Lawmakers raised ten Points of Order which consumed 83 minutes of the session’s time. Out of 74 starred questions, only 30 (41%) were taken up during the session and responded to by the relevant ministries/departments. The legislators also raised 41 supplementary questions to gain further clarity on government’s responses.
Four reports of Standing Committees, one report of Public Accounts Committee on account of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the year 2012-13 and another report on Second Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of NFC Award (January-June 2015) were presented.
The House passed a motion seeking extension in the presentation time of report of the Public Accounts Committee. A report of Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education was not moved in the House.
A total of eight lawmakers – JUI-F and PTI (2 each), ANP, PML-N, PPPP, JI (one each) –discussed law and order in the province. Similarly, ten lawmakers – PTI (4), ANP, PML-N JUI-F, QWP-S, PPPP and JI – participated in debate held to pay tribute to the deceased PML-N lawmaker Arbab Akbar Hayat for his parliamentary services.
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