ISLAMABAD, June 8, 2012: Starting an hour and 15 minutes behind schedule, the fourth sitting of Punjab Assembly’s 38th session was marked by low attendance of MPAs. It was adjourned because of lack of Quorum.
Only 13 legislators present at the outset of the sitting and 89 when it was adjourned. The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in Pakistan with a current total membership of 369.
Additionally, the Chief Minister along with the parliamentary leaders of MMAP, PMLF, and PMLZ did not attend the sitting. The Chief Minister has not attended any of the current session’s sittings.
The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out a PML legislator. The Chair ordered for ringing the bells for five minutes. As one-fourth of the membership was not present, the sitting was adjourned.
PPPP Members staged a walkout as they were not allowed to discuss the death of seven newborns in a fire in the Services Hospital in Lahore.
A total of 18 Points of Order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 30 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1015 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 0900 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 15 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Deputy Speaker did not attend the sitting.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and five minutes.
- Only the parliamentary leader of PML was present while the leaders of MMAP, PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- A total of 13 Members (4% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 89 (24%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Four minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two out of 28 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- Additionally, six Supplementary questions were also asked.
- The Disposal of Land by Development Authorities (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 2012 was not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 18 Points of Order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- PPPP Members staged a walkout as they were not allowed to discuss the death of seven newborns in a fire in the Services Hospital in Lahore.
- 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 at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out a PML. The Chair ordered for ringing the bells for five minutes. As one-fourth of the membership was not present, the sitting was adjourned.
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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