ISLAMABAD, December 18, 2012: Only four legislators were observed to be present at the start of the 4th sitting of the ongoing 43rd Punjab Assembly session. Starting an hour and 55 minutes, the sitting met only for 28 minutes.
The sitting was marked by low interest of MPAs as most of the agenda items were left unaddressed. The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary heads of the parties in the assembly remained absent.
The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in the country with a membership of 371. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. It was pointed out by a female PMLN Member, which led to adjournment of the sitting
Only two out of 34 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, seven supplementary questions were asked.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for 28 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1155 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 55 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- None of the parliamentary leaders attended the sitting.
- Only four members (1% of the total membership – 371) were present at the outset while 51 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only two out of 34 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, seven supplementary questions were asked.
- No Bills were taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- One Point of Order consumed two minutes of the sitting time.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. It was pointed out by a female PMLN Member, which led to adjournment of the sitting.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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