ISLAMABAD, December 11, 2013: The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013 was tabled in the 9th sitting of 5th session of Punjab Assembly, whereas quorum was pointed out thrice during the proceedings, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation.
The law minister tabled the bill before the House; however, the sitting was adjourned during the second reading of the bill.
Members of PTI pointed out lack of quorum thrice and bells were rung all the times.
Seven adjournment motions consuming 25 minutes of the proceedings were taken up. Among them, three related to education, health and sale of residential colonies were disposed of while debate on four motions related to employment, health, pollution and education was left to be taken up for next week.
The Speaker was not present while the Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for four hours and seven minutes.
- The sitting witnessed a delay of an hour and 45 minutes, as proceedings started at 1145 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker was absent whereas the Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 48 minutes.
- Only the Parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.
- A total of 53 MPAs were present at the outset while 101 were there at the adjournment of sitting. A maximum of 113 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Two minority members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven out of 19 Starred Questions (requiring oral reply) on the agenda related to Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, 30 supplementary questions were asked.
- Members of PML-N, PPPP, PTI and PML presented seven adjournment motions consuming 25 minutes of the proceedings. Three of them were disposed of while four were left to be taken up next week. The pending motions related to the delay in reinstatement of computer operators ordered by Multan High Court, failing of Human Organ Transplant Authority (HOTA) to stop illegal sale of kidneys, factories and municipalities causing water pollution and Lahore Grammar School not teaching the subject of Islamiyat. The disposed of motions were related to bifurcation of Agriculture University Faisalabad, shortage of medicines in Multan Institute of Cardiology and Nishter Hospital and sale of residential colonies in Lahore to a Turkish Company.
Law minister tabled Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five points of order were raised during the sitting which consumed five minutes.
- Members of PML-N and PTI staged two walkouts for 18 minutes. A female PML-N legislator stages a 13-minute walkout for not taking proper care of MPAs accommodation during the session. A member of PTI walked out for five minutes as he was not allowed to speak on a point of order.
- Members of PTI pointed out lack of quorum thrice during the proceedings. Two times the bells were rung for 5 minutes and once for 10 minutes.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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