ISLAMABAD, September 1, 2015: The fifth sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s ongoing 16th session started 87 minutes behind the schedule and left half the agenda unaddressed due to movers’ absence, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
The House continued to witness low attendance as only 37 legislators (10%) were present at the outset and 40 (11%) at the adjournment of the sitting. Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, however it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House.
The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present for 68% of proceedings’ time (78 minutes). In addition, only PPPP’s parliamentary leader was present.
Two resolutions sponsored by JI Parliamentary Leader were not taken up by the House due to his absence. These resolutions were demanded legislation to allocate revenue for development of libraries and provision of interest free loans to farmers. Another resolution sponsored by PTI lawmaker for installing water filtration plants in schools was also not taken up due to mover’s absence.
Two resolutions on the agenda were disposed of after being answered by Provincial Minister for Law. One of the resolutions demanded sale of medicines under generic names while the other urged the government to provide medical care to a Seraiki poet.
Another resolution regarding privileges to families of martyred political figures equivalent to heirs of martyred security personnel was kept pending.
Following are some of the key observations:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 54 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1127 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- Thirty-seven members (10%) were present at the outset and 40 (11%) at the time of adjournment of the sitting.
- Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 78 minutes.
- Only PPPP’s parliamentary leader attended the sitting.
- Five out of eight minority members attended the proceedings.
- Sixteen members applied for leave.
- Out of six resolutions on the agenda, three were not taken up by the House due to movers’ absence, two were disposed of and another was kept pending.
- The House witnessed presentation of two legislative reports and one report of the Privileges Committee.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Fifteen out of 22 starred questions were taken up and responded to by the relevant government departments. In addition, the lawmakers raised 30 supplementary questions.
- Four Adjournment Motions (AMs) were taken up by the House. These AMs were about substandard construction of underpass in Shangla Hill, non-resumption of classes at Government Degree College Khanka Dogra, sale of donkeys’ meat in Lahore and establishment of fake centers for SSC exams in Narowal.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised six Points of Order which consumed eight minutes of the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
To download the factsheet, click here
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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