ISLAMABAD, December 23, 2014: The Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted three resolutions during the tenth sitting of its 11th session on Tuesday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
The resolutions demanded an effective legislation against child marriages; implementation of the Islamic Ideology Council’s instructions regarding use of English words for Islamic teachings; and mandating medical students to work in government hospitals for at least five years upon completing their studies.
Twenty-five (7%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 43 (12%) at the adjournment of the sitting. The quorum was visibly lacking during the entire sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers. The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent. Among parliamentary leaders, only the JI and PPPP leaders attended the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 50 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1100 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of 60 minutes.
- Twenty-five members (7%) were present at the outset and 43 (12%) at the sitting’s adjournment. A maximum of 48 members (13%) were seen at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent.
- The parliamentary leader of JI and PPPP attended the sitting.
- Two minority members were present.
- No member applied for leave.
- The House adopted a resolution tabled by a PML-N lawmaker demanding an effective legislation against child marriages.
- Another resolution urging the government to implement the Islamic Ideology Council’s instructions regarding use of English words for Islamic teachings was also adopted.
- Another PML-N lawmaker sponsored a resolution demanding the provincial government to necessitate medical students to work in government hospitals for at least five years upon completing their studies. The resolution was adopted with an amendment to request the federal government to ensure implementation of the said practice.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments, while 14 supplementary questions were raised by the MPAs.
- The House took up an adjournment motion (AM) regarding problems faced by people in receiving funds from the Zakat Council through mobile transfer. Two other AMs were not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- Six points of order consumed seven minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and public.
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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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