ISLAMABAD, November 29, 2013: Starting two hours and 20 minutes behind schedule, the first sitting of fifth session of the Punjab Assembly witnessed low attendance of MPAs with only 121 present at the outset and 56 were there at the adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network.
Although the Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs presented seven Ordinances during the sitting. The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was there for two hours and 16 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 45 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1720 hours instead of the scheduled time of 1500 hours. The proceedings started two hours and 20 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was there for two hours and 16 minutes.
- Only the parliamentary leader of PPPP attended the sitting.
- A total of 121 MPAs were present at the outset of the sitting while 56 were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 193 Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Four minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Nine out of 17 questions appearing on the agenda was taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, 17 supplementary questions were also asked.
- The Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs presented seven Ordinances — The Lahore Development Authority (amendment) Ordinance 2013, The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Ordinance 2013, The Provincial Employees’ Social Security (amendment) Ordinance 2013, The Punjab Local Government (amendment) Ordinance 2013, The Punjab Local Government (second amendment) Ordinance 2013, The Punjab Local Government (third amendment) Ordinance 2013, and The Punjab Local Government (fourth amendment) Ordinance 2013 — to the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four Points of Order were raised during the sitting which consumed 12 minutes. One of them attracted the Chair’s ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.
- 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 of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
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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