ISLAMABAD, June 17, 2015: The Punjab Assembly continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers, as the House continued discussion on the provincial budget 2015-16 on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

The sitting started 25 minutes behind the schedule with only six members (2%) present at the start and 10 (3%) at the time of adjournment. The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 14 % (50 minutes) of the sitting time.

Thirty-four members – 26 from PML-N, six from PTI and one each from PML and PPPP – shared their views on the budget for 76% (262 minutes) of the proceedings’ time.

A PTI lawmaker pointed out quorum at 11:47 hours, following which the Chair directed the bells to be rung for five minutes. Resultantly, the sitting was suspended for 40 minutes.

Following are some key observations of the assembly business:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Punjab Assembly met for five hours and 45 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1025 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
  • Six members (2%) were present at the start and 10 (3%) at the end of the sitting.
  • A maximum of 98 members (26%) attended the sitting.
  • The Speaker chaired the sitting for 195 minutes.
  • The remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
  • The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.
  • The Opposition Leader was present for 50 minutes.
  • The Finance Minister attended the sitting for 241 minutes (70%) of the proceedings’ time.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-Z and JI were present.
  • Five minority members attended the proceedings.
  • No member applied for the leave.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Thirty-four members – 26 from PML-N, six from PTI, and one each from PML and PPPP – shared their views on the budget for 76% (262 minutes) of the proceedings’ time.

Order and Institutionalization

  • Five points of order consumed three minutes of the sitting.
  • A PPPP lawmaker staged a token walkout for five minutes against his reservations over development schemes in Southern Punjab.
  • A PML-N lawmaker walked out of the House at 1240 hours for not following the list submitted for discussion on the provincial budget. He did not return to the House until the sitting’s adjournment.
  • The House took up a privilege motion of a PTI lawmaker against a police official for misbehaving with legislators who were expressing solidarity with the clerks protesting in Lahore. The motion was referred to the relevant standing committee.
  • A PTI lawmaker pointed out quorum at 11:47 hours, following which the Chair directed the bells to be rung for five minutes.
  • The sitting was suspended due to lack of quorum while it resumed at 12:27 hours.

Transparency

  • ‘Orders of the day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on members’ attendance was also available to the observers and the public.

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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.