ISLAMABAD, December 27, 2012: The 9th sitting of the ongoing 43rd session was marked by low attendance as only six members were present at the outset and 35 were there at the time of adjournment. Additionally, the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker, and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
Although the sitting witnessed low attendance, the house passed nine bills. The house also adopted three resolutions (two government and one private member’s).
A motion under rule 244-A seeking amendment in the sub-rule (1) of the Rules and Procedures of the provincial assembly of the Punjab 1997 was also adopted.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 45 minutes.
- The sitting was started at 1600 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- Only six members were present at the outset while 35 were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 95 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Two minority legislators were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only four of the 32 starred questions (requiring oral responses) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, five supplementary questions were asked.
- One of the two calling attention notices (CANs) appearing on the List of Business was taken up. It was about the looting of a police constable by dacoits in Baghbanpura, Lahore.
- Three adjournment motions were raised which consumed 15 minutes of the sitting duration. These were about the non-availability of irrigation water to the peasants of District Pakpattan, closure of roads in Lahore for the last 2-4 years, and future of some 300 students of the Punjab Medical College of Faisalabad which has not given been granted approval by the PMDC until now.
- Nine of the 15 bills appearing on the List of Business were passed by the house. These included: The Punjab Government servants Housing Foundation (second amendment)
- Bill 2012, The Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2012, The Punjab Protection against the Harassment of women at the workplace (amendment) Bill 2012, The Punjab partition of immoveable Property Bill 2012, The Women university Multan (amendment) Bill 2012, The Government College women University Faisalabad Bill 2012, The Government College women University Sialkot Bill, The Government College women University Bahawalpur Bill 2012, and The Punjab Housing and Planning Agency (Amendment)Bill 2012.
- Further, four bills were also introduced. These were: The Punjab Public service Commission (second amendment) Bill 2012, The Punjab boilers and pressures vessels (amendment) Bill 2012, The Lahore Garrison University Bill 2012, and The Punjab Local Government (Fifth amendment) Bill 2012.
- Two government as well as a private members’ sponsored resolutions was adopted by the house. Resolution to pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto on her 5th death anniversary and the resolution for fixing of flat electricity rates for peasants of Punjab were the resolutions moved from the government benches while the resolution regarding inclusion of Thalassemia Free certificate in the marriage certificate (Nikah Nama) was moved by a member from opposition benches. The other four private members’ resolutions were disposed off.
- A motion under rule 244-A seeking amendment in the sub-rule (1) of the Rules and Procedures of the provincial assembly of the Punjab 1997 was adopted.
Order and Institutionalization
• Thirteen points of order (POs) were raised which consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time.
- The quorum was pointed out twice. The Chair ordered the ringing of bells for five minutes, each time sitting resumed after five minutes.
- There was no incidence of protest, boycott or walkout during the proceedings.
• List of Business was available to the legislators, observers and others.
• Information about members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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