ISLAMABAD, December 3, 2013: The Punjab Assembly continued to witness low interest of MPAs in parliamentary proceedings during the 3rd sitting of the ongoing 5th session. Only 92 (25% of the total membership – 371) was present at the outset while 32 were there at the adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The opposition benches staged a 16-minute walkout as their supplementary agenda in the form of a resolution on Drone attacks was not taken up by the House.
However, the House adopted four resolutions which were tabled by PML-N, PTI and an Independent Member.
The Chief Minister continued to be absent, while his counterpart the Leader of the Opposition remained present during the entire sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 36 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1120 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 20 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over for an hour and 25 minutes while the remaining sitting time was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present throughout the proceedings.
- Only the parliamentary leader of PPPP attended the sitting.
- Ninety-two Members were there at the outset of the sitting while 39 were present at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 133 Members were observed at one point of the sitting.
- Three minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsivenes
- Eleven of the 35 Starred Questions (requiring oral replies) on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, 17 Supplementary Questions were also asked.
- Sponsored by PML-N Members, an Adjournment Motion was raised and taken up by the House.
- The House adopted four resolutions tabled by PML-N, PTI and an Independent Member. These were related to protection of Quranic verses published in newspapers, decreasing the per bag price of cement, contamination of drainage system with industrial toxins and poisonous water causing health problems in Samundri, District Faisalabad and attack on the office of media outlet in Karachi.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order were raised during the sitting which consumed six minutes. None of the Points of Order raised attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The opposition benches staged a 16-minute walkout as their supplementary agenda regarding Drone Attacks was not taken up by the House.
- 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, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
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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