ISLAMABAD, December 19, 2012: Starting an hour and 40 minutes late, the 5th sitting of the ongoing 43rd session witnessed low attendance of members, and low disposal of agenda.
The house did not take up three bills that were on the orders of the day for introduction, while the Punjab Government Servants Housing Foundation (Second Amendment) Bill 2012 was also not taken up for reconsideration and passage. In addition, a motion under rule 244-A of the rules of procedure of the house to move a proposed amendment in the regulatory framework was also not taken up.
The Punjab Assembly is the largest legislature in the country, with a total membership of 371 of which only 21 were present at the outset and 17 at the adjournment.
The Speaker was present throughout the sitting, while the Deputy Speaker, Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
The house took up 11 of the 18 Starred questions on the agenda, and the relevant minister was present to respond to them.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and five minutes.
- The sitting started at 1140 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 40 minutes late. It ended at 1345 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PMLF, and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- The relevant minister was present in the sitting.
- Twenty-one members were present at the outset while 41 were there at the adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 56 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eleven out of 18 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up and responded to by the relevant minister. Additionally, 17 supplementary questions were asked for further elucidation of the responses given to questions.
- Two reports were not taken up – Financial Statements of the Government of the Punjab for the Year 2006-07, and Financial Statements of the Government of the Punjab for the Year 2007-08
- Three bills were not taken up by the house – – the Punjab Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Bill 2012, the Punjab Public Service Commission (Second Amendment) Bill 2012 and the Lahore Garrison University Bill 2012.
- The house did not take up the Punjab Government Servants Housing Foundation (Second Amendment) Bill 2012 for reconsideration and passage.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 18 points of order consumed 27 minutes of the sitting time. None of the points of order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- 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 lacking at several points during the sitting but was not pointed out by the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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