ISLAMABAD, January 23, 2012: The Punjab Assembly witnessed low attendance on Monday with only 18 Members present at the outset and 26 when the sitting was adjourned.
A maximum of 52 Members (14%) out of 369 were present at one point of the sitting. None of the parliamentary leaders attended the proceedings.
The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a PPPP Member that prompted the adjournment.
The sitting spanned an hour and 50 minutes and only two out of 28 questions were taken up.
The PPPP Members staged a walkout in protest against 27 deaths due to reaction of a medicine from the pharmacy of Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
Four Points of Order were raised which consumed seven minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any Assembly output.
The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were absent.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 50 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1610 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours. The House proceedings started an hour and 10 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
- None of the parliamentary leaders attended the sitting.
- Only 18 Members (5% of the total Membership) were present at the start while 26 (7%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 52 Members (14%) were present at one point of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-eight questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only two were put up and one question was responded to by the relevant ministries.
- One supplementary question was asked.
- No Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- Three Standing Committee reports appearing on the agenda were not presented during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four Points of Order were raised which consumed seven minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The PPPP Members staged a walkout in protest against 27 deaths due to reaction of a medicine from the pharmacy of Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
- 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 during the sitting. The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a PPPP Member. The Chair rung the bells for five minutes, but due to persistent lack of Quorum the sitting was adjourned.
|After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the third sitting of the 33nd session of the Punjab Assembly.
These reports will be released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
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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