ISLAMABAD, March 31, 2015: The Punjab Assembly deferred all five resolutions appearing on the agenda due to ministerial absence on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 66 minutes behind the schedule with 10 lawmakers (3%) present at the start and 31 (8%) at the time of adjournment. Although the quorum was visibly lacking at various stages, it was not pointed out by any of the members. The Leader of the House, the Opposition Leader and the parliamentary leaders of all political parties except PPPP were absent.
Of the 20 questions appearing on the agenda, only three were taken up and responded by the government departments. Fifteen questions were disposed of due to the movers’ absence, while two were pended till the next sitting.
The House took up five adjournment motions to discuss issues of urgent importance. Four of these motions were moved by PML-N members to discuss improvements in medical services, impediments in devolution of power to the provinces, profiteering in the absence of a pricing mechanism and havoc wreaked due to torrential rains in the province. The fifth adjournment motion was moved by PML members over the sale of monkey meat in Bahawalpur.
Following are some key observations from the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and two minutes.
- The sitting started at 1106 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- 10 members (3%) were present at the start and 31 (8%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 46 (12%) members attended the sitting.
- The House observed a 63-minute break during the sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent.
- The parliamentary leaders of all parties except PPPP were absent.
- Three out of eight minority members were present.
- None of the members applied for leave
- Five resolutions appearing on the agenda were deferred due to ministerial absence. Two resolutions dealt with provision of vaccines in government hospitals; while the remaining three were related to reduction in airfare in the wake of decreasing oil prices, hiring of additional staff at NADRA offices, and regulation of import of tranquilizers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three out of 20 questions were taken up and responded by the relevant government departments. In addition, the MPAs raised three supplementary questions.
- The House took up five adjournment motions to discuss issues of urgent public importance. Four of these motions were moved by PML-N members to discuss improvements in medical services, impediments in devolution of power to the provinces, profiteering in the absence of a pricing mechanism and havoc wreaked due to torrential rains in the province. The fifth adjournment motion was moved by PML members over the sale of monkey meat in Bahawalpur.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
Correction: An earlier version of this factsheet mistakenly used the term Prime Minister to identify the Leader of the House. The error is regretted
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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.
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