ISLAMABAD, June 12, 2012: The general discussion on the budget in the Punjab Assembly started on Tuesday with only 18 legislators were observed to be present at the outset and 11 when the sitting was adjourned on Tuesday.
The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in Pakistan with a current total membership of 369. Additionally, it is the fifth time during this session that the Chief Minister did not attend the sitting, which lasted for six hours and 45 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for an hour and 15 minutes.
The Minister for Finance presented the budget on June 9. The general debate on budget was initiated by the Leader of the Opposition. A total of 24 Members – 16 from PPPP, three each from PMLN and PMLF and two from PML – spoke on the budget for 362 minutes (89%) of the sitting time.
A PPPP legislator staged a five-minute walkout claiming that his Question of Privilege was not taken up during the last session.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for six hours and 45 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1140 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 40 minutes late.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting. The Speaker was absent.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was there for an hour and 15 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP and PMLF were present while the leader of PMLZ was absent.
- Only 18 Members (5% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 11 (3%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Five minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Minister for Finance presented the Annual Budget Statement on June 9, 2012.
- A total of 24 Members – 16 from PPPP, three each from PMLN and PMLF and two PML – spoke on the budget for 362 minutes (89%) of the sitting time.
- There was no other formal agenda on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- No Points of Order were raised during the sitting.
- A PPPP legislator staged a five-minute walkout claiming that his Question of Privilege was not taken up during the last session.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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