ISLAMABAD, August 29, 2012: Starting an hour and 20 minutes behind schedule, the last sitting of 40th session of the Punjab Assembly adopted a Resolution against the formation of the federal commission on new provinces. The Resolution was moved by the Law Minister.
On the other hand, the opposition PPPP and PML Members staged a 35-minute protest over the Punjab Assembly not making nominations for the federal commission on new provinces.
As the House continued to witness low attendance of MPAs, only 10 legislators were present at the start of the sitting. The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out by the opposition benches. However, it was ignored by the Speaker. The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
Nine Points of Order raised during the sitting consumed 45 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order raised attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The House passed the Information Technology University of the Punjab Bill 2012 but it did not take up the seven bills appearing on the Orders of the Day. However two other bills were introduced and sent to the relevant Standing Committees.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 20 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1120 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 20 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker did not attend the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
- None of the parliamentary leaders attended the sitting.
- Only 10 Members (3% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 158 (43%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Three minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only two out of 32 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- The Information Technology University of the Punjab Bill 2012 was passed by the House. Two other bills were introduced and sent to the relevant Standing Committees for further discussions.
- A Resolution moved by Law Minister against the formation of the new provinces’ commission was adopted by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Nine Points of Order were raised during the sitting which consumed 45 minutes. None of the Points of Order raised attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The PPPP and PML Members staged a 35-minute protest over the Punjab Assembly not sending nominations for the federal commission on new provinces.
- 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 by the opposition benches. However, it was ignored by the Speaker.
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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