ISLAMABAD, January 30, 2012: The eighth sitting of the Punjab Assembly spanning three hours and 55 minutes witnessed low attendance. Only seven Members were present at the outset and 12 when the sitting was adjourned.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the MPAs.
Twelve out of 24 questions listed for the Question Hour were responded by the relevant ministries. A total of 33 supplementary questions were asked.
A total of 25 Points of Order were raised which consumed 50 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The regular proceedings of the assembly were disrupted twice due to a tussle between a PPPP Member (PP-283) and the provincial minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Public Prosecution. The proceedings were suspended twice for 30 and 45 minutes.
The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1545 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours. The House proceedings started 45 minutes late.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PML and MMAP attended the sitting while those of PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- Only seven Members (2% of the total Membership – 369) were present at the start while 12 (3%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 88 Members (24%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- One minority Member was present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-four questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only 12 were put up and responded to by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 33 supplementary questions were asked.
- Two Calling Attention Notices about “police violence in Hafizabad district” and “kidnapping of a doctor of THQ Attock” were taken up by the House.
- No Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-five Points of Order were raised which consumed 50 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The regular proceedings of the assembly were disrupted twice due to a tussle between a PPPP Member (PP-283) and the provincial minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Public Prosecution. The proceedings were suspended twice for 30 and 45 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 was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, the lack of Quorum was not pointed by any of the Legislators.
|After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the eighth sitting of the 33nd session of the Punjab Assembly.
These reports are released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
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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