ISLAMABAD, December 12, 2013: The Punjab Assembly passed five bills, including the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013, amid lack of quorum during the 10th sitting of the 5th session on Thursday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the House.
Tabled by the Law minister, the House passed five bills and debated two of them for four hours and one minute (53% of the proceedings time). Six members – PTI (4), PML-N (2) – held discussion on the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013 for 27 minutes, while twenty five MPAs belonging to PTI (16), PML-N (6), PML (2), and one of JI debated the Lahore Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2013 that consumed three hours and twenty nine minutes.
Quorum was pointed out thrice by the members of PTI and PML and the bells were rung for five minutes each.
The Speaker did not attend the sitting whereas the Deputy Speaker presided over the entire proceedings of 7 hours and 33 minutes.
A female member of PTI staged 7 hours and 22 minutes walkout from the House as she wanted the assurance of Chief Minister of Punjab over an incident of demolishing of school boundary.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for seven hours and 33 minutes. The House took a 25 minutes prayer break.
- The sitting started at 1144 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 44 minutes.
- There were 41 members at the outset and 107 at the adjournment of sitting. A maximum of 107 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker was not present while the Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the proceedings while the Leader of the Opposition was present for four hours and 37 minutes.
- Only the parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.
- Three minority members were present.
- The House passed five bills tabled by the Law minister. These include the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013, the Lahore Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Punjab Weights and Measures (International System) Enforcement (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Punjab Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Employees’ Cost of Living (Relief) (Amendment) Bill 2013. Thirty one MPAs debated two bills for three hours and fifty six minutes.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven out of 23 Starred Questions (requiring oral answers) on the Orders of the Day related to the Food and Auqaf Department were taken up. Relevant minister responded to six of the taken up questions. Additionally, members asked 19 supplementary questions.
- Two calling attention notices – each by PTI and PML-N – related to killing of ASWJ leader in Lahore and robbery in Faisalabad were taken up by the House.
- Out of four adjournment motions, two were disposed of and the other two were left out for next week. Moved by PML-N, the two pending motions were about the non-availability of anti-rabies vaccination and deforestation in Faisalabad division.
Order and Institutionalization
- MPAs raised eight points of order which consumed seven minutes of the sitting.
- Members of PML and PTI pointed out lack of quorum thrice and each time bells were rung for five minutes.
- A female PTI member staged a seven hour and 22 minutes walkout from the House as she wanted the assurance of Chief Minister of Punjab over an incident of demolishing of school boundary.
- ‘Orders of the day’ was available to the 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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