ISLAMABAD, May 23, 2014: The Punjab Assembly proceedings remained suspended for 57 minutes (51%) out of 112 minutes of the total time due to lack of quorum during 6th sitting of the 8th session on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the House.
The sitting started an hour and 23 minutes behind the schedule and only after 14 minutes the quorum was pointed out by an Independent lawmaker. The Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes, however, the quorum remained incomplete. Later, the proceedings started at 1134 hours on the completion of headcount.
The opposition parties registered their protest when Provincial Minister for Environment Protection congratulated the members over signing of an agreement with a neighboring country to launch Metro Rail Project in Lahore. The opposition lawmakers started their protest at 1141 hours that continued till the end of sitting at 1215 hours.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 52 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1023 hours against the scheduled time of 0900 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 23 minutes.
- There were 36 members at the outset and 120 at the adjournment of sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting as the Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the proceedings while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 44 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP and JI attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twelve of 32 starred questions (requiring oral answers as well) on the Orders of the Day were taken up and responded to by the Ministry of Environment Protection. Additionally, members asked 11 supplementary questions.
- Two adjournment motions were raised on the floor of the House. Among them one was disposed of while the other was left pending.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised four points of order consuming one minute and 10 seconds of the sitting.
- The opposition parties protested within the House when Provincial Minister for Environment Protection congratulated the members over signing of an agreement with a neighboring country to launch Metro Rail Project in Lahore. Opposition lawmakers started their protest at 1141 hours that continued till the end of sitting at 1215 hours.
- An Independent lawmaker pointed out the quorum, which led to the suspension of the proceedings for 57 minutes.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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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