ISLAMABAD, June 7, 2012: Starting an hour and 35 minutes behind schedule, the third sitting of Punjab Assembly’s 38th session passed five Bills amid lack of Quorum.
Only 22 legislators present at the outset of the sitting and 59 when it was adjourned. The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in Pakistan with a current total membership of 369. Additionally the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition along with the parliamentary leaders of MMAP, PMLF, and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out a PPPP legislator. The Chair ordered for ringing the bells for five minutes. The proceedings resumed after the Quorum was met.
Five out of 35 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 10 supplementary questions were also asked.
A PML Member staged a walkout on not being given the permission to ask Supplementary questions.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 20 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1135 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 35 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leader of PML was present while the leaders of MMAP, PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- A total of 22 Members (6% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 59 (16%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Four minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five out of 35 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- Additionally, 10 supplementary questions were also asked.
- A Calling Attention Notice about a robbery in Lahore was taken up.
- Five out of 17 Bills appearing on the Orders of the Day were passed, while the remaining were introduced and sent to the respective Standing Committees.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 13 Points of Order consumed 21 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- A PML Member staged a walkout on not being given the permission to ask Supplementary questions.
- 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 pointed out a PPPP. The Chair ordered for ringing the bells for five minutes. The proceedings resumed after the Quorum was met.
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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