Five-Sitting Session Transacts Less Than 50 Percent Business

The 28th session of the Punjab Assembly was the shortest session during the fourth parliamentary year ending this month. The Assembly has so far held seven sessions comprising 66 sittings and completed 90 Working Days. However, the Assembly constitutionally requires to meet for at least 100 working days during a parliamentary year.

The government presented three ordinances promulgated between 27th and 28th sessions, which along with two Private Members’ bills were introduced before the House and were referred to relevant standing committees. The House also adopted four resolutions, including three resolutions on matters of public importance. The session followed announcement of the Supreme Court’s verdict on Panama Papers Case involving the Prime Minister and his family. The controversy prompted a government resolution expressing confidence on the Premier and several protests by opposition parties against him.

The House addressed less than half (45%) of its scheduled business appearing on Orders of the Day. The remaining 55% agenda was not addressed either due to absence of the movers or on government’s unpreparedness. Some of the items appeared more than once on the agenda and still remained unaddressed. Only 55 out of 119 Starred Questions were taken up for oral answers while no Adjournment Motion (AM) was answered during the entire session. The government did not provide written answers to 25 out of 192 questions asked by the lawmakers. Moreover, the Question of Privilege and Zero Hour notices also remained unaddressed during the reporting period.

The attendance of lawmakers witnessed a gradual downward trend with 212 (57%) members present in the first sitting and 181 (48%) during the last sitting. On average, 27 (7%) lawmakers were observed to be present at the beginning and 54 (15%) at the adjournment of each sitting. The issue of quorum surfaced five times but on three occasions it was completed after ringing of the bells.

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