ISLAMABAD, May 9, 2012: Starting two hours and 20 minutes behind schedule, the first sitting of 37th session of the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed two Resolutions on restoring the Bahawalpur province and creating a new one in South Punjab.
The sitting, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes on Wednesday, witnessed relatively better attendance of Members with 115 present at the outset and 225 when it was adjourned.
The Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting while the Chief Minister was absent.
As the Question Hour was not held, 23 questions appearing on the Agenda were not taken up.
The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out on three occasions. Each time the Speaker ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 15 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1220 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started two hours and 20 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Chief Minister was not present while the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PML, MMAP and PMLF were present while the leader of PMLZ was absent.
- A total of 115 Members (31% of the total Membership of 369) were present at the start while 225 (61%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Seven minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- As the Question Hour was not held, 23 questions appearing on the Agenda were not taken up.
- The House adopted two Resolutions on creating a South Punjab province and restoring Bahawalpur province.
Order and Institutionalization
- Six Points of Order were raised during the sitting which consumed 15 minutes. None of the Points of Order raised attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- A PMLN Member staged a protest against not getting the permission of speak on a Point of Order. The protest lasted 15 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, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out on three occasions. Each time the Speaker ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes.
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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