ISLAMABAD, February 28: Marked by late start and low attendance of Members, the third sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s 35th session passed two bills as it met for two hours and 55 minutes on Tuesday.
Starting 50 minutes behind schedule, at the start of the sitting only seven MPAs were present. When the sitting was adjourned, only 57 MPAs were present in the House of 369. The Quorum, visibly lacking, was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
Out of 21 questions listed for the Question Hour, 11 were put up and responded by the relevant ministries. A total of 27 supplementary questions were asked.
Out of the four Resolutions presented in House, two were passed and two were rejected. The two Resolutions on making Nowshera a tehsil of district Khushab and making it mandatory for banks to give 50% of loans to commerce and industry were adopted. The two Resolutions on providing five-year affidavit at the time of admission in a medical college and introducing allopathic medicines by their generic names were rejected.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1050 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started 50 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 35 minutes.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leader of the PML attended the sitting while those of MMAP, PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- Seven Members (2% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 57 (15%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Three minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Out of 21 questions listed for the question hour, 11 were put up and responded by the relevant ministries. A total of 27 supplementary questions were asked.
- The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Privileges (Amendment) Bill 2008 and the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Privileges (Amendment) Bill 2009 were unanimously passed by the House.
- Two out of four Resolutions were adopted by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- A single PMLN legislator walked out of the House after his Point of Order was rejected. The walkout lasted for 30 minutes.
- 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, was not pointed out by any of the MPAs.
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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